The government will soon announce export quota of sugar for next marketing year starting October, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Monday. He however did not disclose the quantity of sugar that will be allowed for export in 2022-23 marketing year.
“We will soon announce the sugar export policy for next season,” Pandey told reporters here on the sidelines of 82th AGM of Roller Flour Millers Federation of India (RFMFI). In May, the government had allowed exports of 100 lakh tonne of sugar, but later allowed another 12 lakh tonne. This took the total export quota for 2021-22 marketing year to 112 lakh tonne.
India’s sugar exports stood at 70 lakh tonne in 2020-21 marketing year, 59 lakh tonne in 2019-20 and 38 lakh tonne in 2018-19. Earlier this month, sugar industry body ISMA had demanded that the government allow exports of 80 lakh tonne of sugar for 2022-23 marketing year in view of surplus production. Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) president Aditya Jhunjhunwala had written a letter to Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard.
“We would like to request the government to allow 80 lakh tonne of exports for 2022-23 SS (Sugar Season),” the ISMA president had said in the letter. As per preliminary estimate, Jhunjhunwala said the net sugar production, without considering the diversion of sugar for production of ethanol, is expected to increase to about 400 lakh tonne in 2022-23 from 394 lakh tonne in current marketing year. However, he said 45 lakh tonne of sugar are expected to get diverted for ethanol in 2022-23 as against 34 lakh tonne in current marketing year. This means that actual sugar production in 2022-23 would be 355 lakh tonne, the ISMA president said.
“Therefore, after considering domestic sugar consumption of 275 lakh tonne in the next season (2022-23), it becomes imperative to export at least 80 lakh tonne of surplus sugar out of the country in order to maintain optimum sugar balance in the country,” Jhunjhunwala said. Exports of surplus sugar would also help in maintaining domestic sugar prices, which in turn will boost liquidity position of mills, enabling them to pay sugarcane farmers on time.
The ISMA president mentioned that the sugarcane crushing operations in 2022-23 is expected to start from October first week itself because of huge cane availability. Jhunjhunwala urged the government to announce the export policy for 2022-23 at the earliest so that mills can enter into future contracts and also plan their production in advance.