India has exported almost 25 lakh tonnes of sugar till now: AISTA

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A farmer in India's Maharashtra state transports sugarcane. Photo/IAC

Indian sugar mills have exported 24.9 lakh (2.49 million) tonnes of sugar so far in the ongoing 2020-21 marketing year ending September, with maximum shipments to Indonesia, trade body AISTA said. “Mills have contracted to export 3.33 million tonnes of sugar so far as against the 6 million tonnes quota assigned by the food ministry,” All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said in a statement.

With five months still left for the 2020-21 marketing year to end, the association feels the mills have the potential to fulfil their export commitments. The sugar marketing year runs from October to September. 

An additional 3,03,450 tonne of sugar is in transit and delivered to port-based refineries. “We are well on track to complete the 6 million tonne export target this year. Indonesia, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were top three buyers,” AISTA Vice-Chairman Rahil Shaikh told PTI. Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are regular sugar buyers. This year, UAE has been a new entrant, he added.

Last year, Iran was the top export destination for Indian sugar. This year, exports to Iran did not take place due to currency issues, he said. “Indonesia for the first time matched its quality specifications with India, which allowed Indonesian traders to start buying sugar from India. Also, Brazil had off-season during December-March of this marketing year, which gave us an opportunity to tap Indonesia more,” Shaikh noted.

Of the total exports undertaken so far, AISTA said mills exported 9,61,594 tonnes of sugar to Indonesia, 3,08,302 tonnes to Afghanistan and 2,46,391 tonnes to Sri Lanka till April 9, 2021.

The slowdown in exports could be due to weather anomalies during the June-September quarter and logistics difficulties following the pandemic, he added.

AISTA, which completes five years this month, said it will soon revise upward domestic sugar production estimates to 35 million tonnes for the 2020-21 marketing year from earlier projections of 29.9 million tonnes. Consumption will be pegged at 25.5 million tonnes.

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