The sugar manufacturers on Monday urged the government to allow export of 9 million tonne (MT) of sweetener for the current season taking into consideration the expected total stocks in the country. The government on Sunday allowed exports of 6 MT of sugar in the 2022-23 season (October-September), against 11.2 MT shipped out in the last year.Stating that that the government would allow an additional sugar export of additional 3 MT at later stage, Sonjoy Mohanty, director general, Indian Sugar Mills Association (Isma), said, “This would ensure steady domestic prices, enabling timely cane price payment to farmers and lower inventory levels ensuring there are no additional costs incurred by mills.”
“By restricting the sugar exports, domestic prices will remain under control and no major inflationary trends will arise in the domestic market,” the ministry had stated. It stated that the sugarcane production in the country will be reviewed periodically and based on the estimates, additional quantities of sugar exports would be considered. Sources said that another 2-3 MT of exports may be allowed later in the season. As per the food ministry, domestic consumption of sugar this season has been estimated at 27.5 MT, while around 5 MT would be used for ethanol production and a closing balance of 6 MT is likely on September 30, 2023. The crushing of sugarcane has commenced and a new crop is expected to arrive in the market by December.
In the 2021-22 season, a record 11 mt of sugar was exported from the country and India emerged as the world’s second largest exporter of sweeter after Brazil. The value of sugar exports last season was Rs 40,000 crore.
Officials said that by allowing 6 mt of sugar exports in the first tranche, mills will be able to take benefits of favourable global prices of sweetener so that cane dues of farmers in current sugar season would be paid timely. This would reduce the working capital cost of mills because of the optimum level of stocks.
According to Isma, the country’s sugar output for the 2022-23 season (October-September) is estimated to be around 41 mt which includes around 4.5 mt to be diverted towards making ethanol. The domestic consumption would be around 27.5 mt.