Govt approves extra 1.2 MT of sugar exports this season: Exports to hit record 11.2 MT

The government is still considering the issue of fixing sugar exports volume for the next season.

Govt approves extra 1.2 MT of sugar exports this season: Exports to hit record 11.2 MT
The projected sugar exports in excess of 11 MT is expected to be highest ever sugar shipment in a season.

The government has approved an additional 1.2 million tonne (MT) of sugar exports for the current season in anticipation of higher domestic production in the next season.

This approval is addition to around 10 MT of sugar already exported in the current season (October 2021-September 2022).

A notification to this effect is expected soon.

The projected sugar exports in excess of 11 MT is expected to be highest ever sugar shipment in a season.

A committee consisting of group of ministers recently approved the additional quota of sugar exports.

Food ministry sources told FE that despite the approval of additional quantity of sugar exports, the opening stocks for 2022-23 season would be in the range of 6 – 6.5 MT on October 1. “This would met the domestic demand for October and November, which is a festive season,” an official said.

“The additional sugar exports approved also includes request for imports from Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal and other countries,” according to the official.

In May, the government had imposed restrictions on sugar exports from June 1, a move aimed at ensuring domestic availability and curbing price rise.

The country’s sugar production is estimated at 36 MT in the 2021-22 season.

Sugar has been exported to countries including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Indonesia and Somalia and others.

Earlier, Indian Sugar Mills Association (Isma) had also urged the government to allow sugar mills to export an additional 1 MT in the current season so that mills can fulfil their export commitments.

This restriction on exports comes after a record shipment of sugar this season (2021-22).

In May, the food ministry stated that the country’s sugar production in 2021-22 season is estimated at 35.5 MT after discounting 3.5 MT used for ethanol production. The production estimate for this season was subsequently revised to 36 MT.

Sugar mills meanwhile have urged the government to allow exports of 8 MT of the sweetener under the open general licence (OGL) for the next season. This, according to the Isma, will help the sugar mills enter into future exports contracts well in advance prior to commencement of the season.

Stating that it is time to review the current sugar export policy for next year since the current global prices are firm, a recent communication by Aditya Jhunjhunwala, president, Isma to commerce minister Piyush Goyal said advance exports contracts would result in better cash flows and payment to farmers in the next season.

The government is still considering the issue of fixing sugar exports volume for the next season.

In sugar seasons 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, about 600,000 tonne, 3.8 MT and 5.7 MT of sugar was exported. The exports stood at 7.5 MT in 2020-021.

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