Centre urged to allow export of sugar

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22 June 2022, New Delhi: The sugar industry of Uttar Pradesh wants the Union government to allow exports of 80 lakh MT of sugar under open general licence (OGL) during the next season (2022-23) beginning October 1. The industry represented by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has written to Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal in this regard. ISMA president Aditya Jhunjhunwala said an immediate announcement of next year’s sugar export policy would help the sugar mills enter into future contracts at better prices.

Reiterating that this is the right time to review the current sugar export policy for next year since as the current global prices are firm, Jhunjhunwala stated that mills can plan their production for  the next season in advance and that this system would give a fair chance and equal opportunity to all the mills to participate in exports.

According to ISMA, the area under sugarcane cultivation is expected to be 2% higher than the current season. Backed by a good monsoon, as predicted by the IMD, sugar production is also likely to be higher than the current season’s production of 39.4 MT. “Even after a higher diversion of sugar towards production of ethanol next year, there will still be sufficient stock available for exports,” ISMA said.

ISMA has also urged the Union government to allow the sugar industry to export an additional 10 lakh tonne in the ongoing 2021-22 season so  that mills can fulfil their export commitments in the current season itself and there is no repercussion in the next season.

According to ISMA, the sugar industry had applied for 17  lakh MT of export, of which orders were issued for only  80,000 MT. “Planning for production of raw sugar for export is done in advance, based on the export contracts. Almost 60,000-70,000 MT of raw sugar is surplus and will lie idle with the mills or at ports, if not exported. The mills now have no option to either process or sell it in the market. Export is the only viable option in the current situation,” ISMA said.

Allaying the Centre’s fears that a shortfall of sugar might lead to a spike in domestic sugar prices, the ISMA president said that even after record exports of about 86 lakh MT up to May 2022, the all-India ex-mill average domestic sugar prices have hovered around Rs 33-35 per kg.

“There is no reason to believe that the sugar export of this additional 10 lakh tonnes in the current season will affect the domestic market,” he added.

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