Low sugar production in Brazil and Thailand indicate strong trend of sugar prices globally; to benefit Indian exports

Prices of sugar in the international market have picked up after estimates of declining production in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar supplier. Global sugar prices rose by 20 per cent in April 2021. This is likely to benefit sugar exports from India, sugar industry experts from India feel. Brazilian production is estimated to be almost 7-8 million tonnes less than last year while Thailand produced 7-8 million tonnes less than its normal production. Thailand’s decline in sugar production also augurs well for India.

India’s sugar mills have so far firmed up close to 54 lakh tonnes of sugar exports. Some 40 odd lakh tonnes of sugar have already been physically dispatched for exports. The industry is expecting to complete the sugar exports quota of 60 lakh (6 million) tonnes by September this year.

If the global prices of sugar rule above 19 cents a pound, India might also end up exporting from OGL (open general licence), as the country has adequate surplus stock of sugar. 

Indian white sugar which was Rs 2,600 per quintal on April 1, has gone up to Rs 2,750 per quintal. On April 1, 2021, Indian raw sugar was trading Rs 2,550 per quintal and has gone up to Rs 2,700 per quintal now.

The National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) has demanded an increase in export quota in view of the situation in the international sugar market. The Indian sugar season is almost at an end and the sugar is freshly produced.

Significantly, research institutes and sugar exporters have predicted that the growth of sugarcane in Brazil will be hampered by low soil moisture, which is conducive to the growth of sugarcane. The prolonged drought in Brazil could push Brazil’s sugarcane crush to 530 million tonnes this season, 12 per cent less than last year and the lowest in ten years. In addition, the beet crop in France, European Union’s largest sugar producer, has also suffered a 10 per cent loss, which is likely to add pressure to European sugar prices as well. 

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