March 7, 2013 / 6:42 AM / 4 years ago

Bangladesh state agency not to buy sugar in 2012/13

DHAKA, March 7 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's state purchasing agency will not buy any sugar from international markets in the year to June, on rising output and good stocks of the sweetener, a senior official said on Thursday.

In the last fiscal year that ended in June 2012, the Sugar and Food Industries Corporation imported 125,000 tonnes of white sugar, up from 27,000 tonnes from the previous year.

"We won't import this fiscal year as our stock is good, while sugar prices have remained stable over the past one year," said Harun Mia, purchasing officer of the state agency.

Stocks stood at 180,000 tonnes. Of these, 50,000 tonnes are being exported to Europe under an EU preferential quota. The export move is a first for the agency, which has until now imported sugar to build up reserves.

Bangladesh's sugar output for 2012/13 is likely to rise about 40 percent to 100,000 tonnes, thanks to a good crop of sugar cane, while imports of raw sugar will also increase after overseas sales of refined sugar were allowed.

Bangladesh depends on imported sugar to meet annual demand of 1.4 million to 1.5 million tonnes.

Late last year, the government allowed exports of sugar by private refiners, who had been calling for overseas sales as they have more than 3 million tonnes of refining capacity.

Since December, Bangladesh has exported around 30,000 tonnes of sugar to East African and Middle Eastern countries and another 50,000 tonnes will be shipped soon, said Golam Mostafa, chairman of Deshbandhu group, a leading refiner and trader.

Private refiners mostly import raw sugar from Brazil, India and Thailand.

Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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