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No export, no crushing season: PSMA

 On Friday, sugar millers made it clear that they would not begin the crushing season of 2022–2023 until they were allowed to export the one million tonnes of surplus sugar that was sitting in their godowns and had the potential to bring in $1 billion for the national coffers.

Currently, 1.2 to 1.3 million tonnes of sugar are accessible, which is enough to supply domestic demand until January 15, 2023.

Asim Ghani Usman, the Central Chairman of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), said during a news conference that the crushing season would start in mid-January if the government insisted on forbidding exports. In order to put the matter to rest once and for all, the government may appoint an independent foreign auditor if it does not accept the millers' statistics or the price of producing sugar.

The PSMA chairman added that "the government might hold 500,000 tonnes of sugar and permit the rest to be exported" if it wished to maintain some buffer stocks owing to political reasons.

He responded to a question by saying, "They are ready to face legal consequences but they cannot sell their produce below the cost of production. Sindh had announced the beginning of its crushing season to be November 29, binding millers to start crushing by November 30. They'll go into default as a result, resulting in losses for the mills as well as the sugarcane farmers.

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