India’s sugar exports rise to 21.29 lakh tonnes

India’s sugar exports surged to 21.29 lakh tonnes so far in the current marketing year ending September, as against about five lakh tonnes shipped in the entire 2017-18, industry data showed.

Out of the 21.29 lakh tonnes exported between October 1 and April 6, raw sugar accounted for 9.76 lakh tonnes, the All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said in a statement. Another 7.24 lakh tonnes of sugar is in the export pipeline, it added. “Total sugar export contract so far is around 30 lakh tonnes, out of which 28.53 lakh tonnes has been dispatched from mills,” the association told PTI.

India had exported around five lakh tonnes of the sweetener in the last marketing year amid lower prices in the global markets, which made Indian shipments uncompetitive. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iran are the major export destinations, AISTA added.

The Centre has asked mills to export 50 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2018-19 marketing year (October-September) to liquidate the surplus stock. The government is providing various incentives to boost sugar exports.

India’s sugar production is estimated to rise at record 330 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 marketing year from 325 lakh tonnes in the previous year. The country has surplus stock as annual domestic demand is around 260 lakh tonne and mills are carrying a huge stock from the previous year as well.

During 2018-19, sugar mills in India traded 8.3 lakh tonnes of sugar. Of this, about 4.5 lakh tonnes has been traded by sugar mills from Uttar Pradesh. Traders said that most of the 8.3 lakh tonnes of sugar contracted for export was raw. Of the 4.5 lakh tonnes contracted by UP mills, about 2 lakh tonnes are on account of third-party contracts. In third-party contracts, sugar mills sell their mandatory minimum indicative export quota (MIEQ) to traders or trade houses, who can purchase sugar against such quota from anywhere they want.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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