Need sugar imports to curb prices: Traders

By: | Published: March 9, 2017 4:04 AM

Even as sugar prices are currently stable, they are expected to rise after March when the mills across the country complete crushing operation and shut down production.

Industry traders have cautioned the need for imports to maintain the prices at a comfortable level. (Reuters)

Even as sugar prices are currently stable, they are expected to rise after March when the mills across the country complete crushing operation and shut down production. Industry traders have cautioned the need for imports to maintain the prices at a comfortable level.

According to top officials of the Bombay Sugar Merchants Association (BSMA), this time the estimates have been lower than expected as a result of which the closing stock is also likely to be lower than the previous years – at around 40 lakh tonne. “This is the consumption of around one-and-a-half months and although mills are expected to commence crushing in October this year, some pockets across the country could have less stocks compared to other pockets,” said Mukesh Kuvediya, BSMA secretary general. If the government intervenes and imports some 10-15 lakh tonne sugar, the position will become comfortable, he said. Although there is no shortage on paper, some regions could have more stocks and some could have less. If sugar is imported, prices will remain stable, Kuvediya said.

Sugar prices are currently in the range of R3,950-4,020 per quintal for small grade and R4,025-4,050 for medium grade. “If Brazil has a bumper production, prices could come down. Much will also depend on the next monsoon,” Kuvediya said.

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