16 February 2023, New Delhi: The government will take a call next month on increasing the sugar export quota from the present 60 lakh tonnes for the current marketing year after assessing the domestic production, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said on Wednesday.
The food ministry has allowed 60 lakh tonnes of sugar exports for the current 2022-23 marketing year (October-September), which is expected to see a drop in the sugar production. India exported a record 110 lakh tonnes of sugar in the previous year.
“We have not yet taken a call. we are closely monitoring the production and we would take a call may be in March depending on what the final figures of anticipated production are,” Chopra told reporters here when asked whether the government will hike the sugar export quota.
Recently, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said that sugar production is estimated to fall 5 per cent in the current marketing year to 340 lakh tonnes as more quantity of sugarcane juice is being diverted for the production of ethanol.
Sugar production stood at 358 lakh tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.
There will be an estimated diversion of 45 lakh tonnes of sweetener towards ethanol manufacturing. Sugarcane juice/syrup and B-molasses are being diverted to ethanol making.
In the previous 2021-22 marketing year, 32 lakh tonnes of sweetener was diverted towards manufacturing of ethanol for blending with petrol.
The actual sugar production in Maharashtra is estimated to decline to 121 lakh tonnes in 2022-23 from 137 lakh tonnes in the previous year. Uttar Pradesh will see a marginal decline to 101 lakh tonnes from 102 lakh tonnes, while Karnataka may witness a decline to 56 lakh tonnes from 60 lakh tonnes.
In the first four months of 2022-23, ISMA has reported that the country’s sugar production rose 3.42 per cent to 193.5 lakh tonnes.
India has exported 27.83 lakh tonnes of sugar till February 9 of the ongoing 2022-23 marketing year, with Bangladesh and Indonesia being the top markets, trade body All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said recently.
Mills have contracted to export almost the entire 60 lakh tonnes of sugar that have been permitted by the government.
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