Sugar millers from the country are in hectic parleys with a visiting Chinese delegation that is interested in importing sugar from India. Indian millers are seeking to export at least 20 lakh tonne of raw sugar to China. \u201cWe expect to get long term access to the Chinese sugar market, while in the current year, we hope to export 20 lakh tonne sugar to China. The delegation will visit some sugar mills from Uttar Pradesh on Monday while it will be in Maharashtra on December 12 to meet sugar millers from Maharashtra,\u201d said Dilip Walse Patil, president, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF). A contract for exporting 15,000 tonne of raw sugar has been entered between the Indian Sugar Mills Association (Isma) and China\u2019s COFCO. Millers from Maharashtra are hoping to export at least 5 lakh tonne. According to Sanjay Khatal, MD, Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation, the delegation is slated to visit Rajaram Bapur Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana at Islampur and a meeting has been slated thereafter with the millers from the state. \u201cMaharashtra has received an export quota of 15.54 lakh tonne and initially we expect to sign deals for 5 lakh tonne. The millers are open for more,\u201d he said. India has asked China to consider releasing its raw sugar export quota for the new year earlier than January. This is because the domestic sugar mills would, by then, start making white sugar and switching over to raw sugar will be difficult. Raw sugar is the second product that China agreed to import from India this year after starting shipments of non-basmati rice. As per market reports, the Chinese government releases its sugar quota for the January-June period sometime in the middle of January. Indian exporters say that since the crushing begins a month earlier, it would help them in planning better if the quotas are released early December. Since the January-June quota is released mid-January, the Indian industry ends up missing half the crushing season. A team of Chinese officials, headed by Vice-Minister Hu Wei, met senior officials from the commerce & industry ministry and agriculture ministry earlier last week to discuss ways to increase imports from India. China imports only raw sugar. Once sugar mills start milling white sugar then a lot of them may not make raw sugar because it involves some changes in the process, including stopping the factory for one day and then sealing it. Millers are of the view that if the requirements come in early, the millers can be prepared. China could emerge as a major consumer for Indian sugar, according to the National Federation of Co-Operative Sugar Factories. The federation is hosting a delegation from the neighbouring country, which is in India to tie-up long term arrangements for the import of sugar. After visiting New Delhi on Friday, the delegation is visiting Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The two states account for the bulk of sugar production in the country. India has contracted to export about 8 lakh tonne so far to countries in West Asia and Sri Lanka. Out of the total contracted quantity, raw sugar comprises 6,00,000 tonne and the rest 2,00,000 tonne is white sugar, according to industry people.