The government will likely cut the sugar export quota by 29% for the new marketing year that started on October 1 to keep domestic supplies steady, a top source told FE.
It could cap sugar exports at just eight million tonne in 2022-23, compared with estimated despatches of 11.2 million tonne in the recently concluded marketing year, he added.
“The exportable surplus for 2022-23 is going to be to the tune of eight million tonne. The food ministry will soon take a call on whether to put the entire amount under the open general licence,” he said.
In May, the government announced an export cap of 10 million tonne for 2021-22 to control domestic prices. Later it allowed export of another 1.2 million tonne.
The government has in recent months resorted to export curbs to keep a lid on prices of essential commodities like rice, wheat and sugar.
In a meeting with director general of foreign trade Santosh Kumar Sarangi last week, top sugar industry executives pitched to allow export of eight million tonne under the open general licence in 2022-23, said the source.
According to an estimate by the Indian Sugar Mills Association, net sugar production, after factoring in diversion of cane juice for making ethanol, would be around 35.5 million tonne. It estimates consumption to be about 27.5 million tonne. This leaves the scope for export of eight million tonne without upsetting carry-over domestic stocks of six million tonne.
India had shipped out only 0.62 million tonne of sugar in 2017-18, 3.8 million tonne in 2018-19 and 5.96 million tonne in 2019-20. In 2020-21, against the target of six million tonne, about seven million tonne of sugar was exported.