Sugar prices across Pakistan have hit an all-time high, casting a cloud of concern and inconvenience among its populace. In a dramatic turn of events, the sugar market landscape underwent significant fluctuations, causing consumers to feel the pinch while traders and policymakers raced to decipher the root cause. 

Reports from various regions of the country reveal staggering price disparities. In the southwestern province of Balochistan, the town of Chaman witnessed the highest sugar prices, with the sweet commodity soaring to an astonishing PKR 230 per kilogramme. Meanwhile, in the central Punjab town of Arifwala, the price of sugar reached PKR 185 per kilogramme, perplexing both buyers and sellers alike. 

However, amidst this tumultuous surge in sugar prices, Karachi experienced a minor respite as wholesale prices dropped by PKR 2 to settle at PKR 176 per kilogram. Yet, the relief was not fully passed on to consumers, with the retail price stubbornly clinging to PKR 190 per kilogramme, as reported by the PPI news agency via Dawn. 


The question on everyone’s mind: What led to this unprecedented rise in sugar prices? 

The shocking escalation in sugar prices came on the heels of growing concerns expressed by Pakistan’s caretaker government regarding depleting sugar stocks. Dawn’s report identifies rising sugarcane prices and court orders as the primary contributors to the spiralling sugar prices. 

Furthermore, dealers have attributed the surge to a logistical nightmare, where the supply of sugar was severely disrupted due to vehicles getting stranded on national highways following the suspension of permits.

Senator Taj Haider added another layer of complexity to the issue, alleging that former minister Rana Sanaullah allowed a massive 1.4 million tonnes of sugar to be smuggled, thus exacerbating the crisis.

In this blame game, Haider emphasised that Naveed Qamar, Pakistan’s former Commerce Minister, had officially authorised the export of approximately 250,000 metric tonnes of sugar to bolster foreign exchange reserves. He vehemently defended his party colleague, rejecting any implication that Qamar was responsible for the ongoing sugar shortage. 

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The repercussions of the sudden sugar price surge have further deepened the financial woes of the Pakistani people, who are already grappling with the burdensome weight of inflation. The situation has prompted policymakers, traders, and citizens alike to closely monitor the ever-changing dynamics of the sugar market. 

As Pakistan grapples with the sugar crisis, the nation remains hopeful for a sweet resolution that can alleviate the hardships faced by its people in these challenging times.