India could import 1 million tonnes sugar in 2016/17: Louis Dreyfus Commodities

By: | Published: September 28, 2016 5:40 PM

India is likely to import 1 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17 as its consumption could outpace production, sugar trader Benoit Boisleux at Louis Dreyfus Commodities said on Wednesday.

Sugar pricesEarlier in the day, Indian Sugar Mills Association anticipated a drop in local production of the sweetener to drop below consumption for the first time in seven years. (Source: Reuters)

India is likely to import 1 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17 as its consumption could outpace production, sugar trader Benoit Boisleux at Louis Dreyfus Commodities said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Indian Sugar Mills Association anticipated a drop in local production of the sweetener to drop below consumption for the first time in seven years.

“Based on the current prices, we see a higher possibility for 1 million tonnes of import scenario,” Boisleux told the Kingsman Asia Sugar Conference in New Delhi.

Louis Dreyfus expects India to consume about 25.5 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17 compared with a production of about 22.5 million tonnes, he said.

India could produce 23.37 million tonnes sugar in 2016/17, down 7 percent from a year ago as back-to-back droughts ravaged cane crops in the top producing western state of Maharashtra, Tarun Sawhney, head of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), told the Kingsman Asia Sugar Conference in New Delhi.

Maharashtra’s sugar production in the approaching season is expected to drop by a quarter from a year ago to 6.27 million tonnes, according to ISMA’s estimates.

The South Asian country is also likely to start the 2016/17 season with an opening stock of 7.5 million tonnes, down 17.6 percent from a year ago, although still enough – with this year’s output – to satisfy local consumption, Sawhney said.

“There will be enough sugar available in the 2016/17 season to meet the domestic demand of about 25.6 million tonnes,” he said.

Anticipating lower production, the government has already restricted overseas sale of the sweetener by putting a 20 percent tax on exports.

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