The government will soon announce the export quota of sugar for next marketing year starting October, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Monday.
He however did not disclose the quantity of sugar that will be allowed for export in the 2022-23 marketing year.
”We will soon announce the sugar export policy for next season,” Pandey told reporters here on the sidelines of the 82nd AGM of Roller Flour Millers Federation of India (RFMFI).
In May, the government had allowed exports of 100 lakh tonnes of sugar but later allowed another 12 lakh tonnes. This took the total export quota for the 2021-22 marketing year to 112 lakh tonnes.
India’s sugar exports stood at 70 lakh tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year, 59 lakh tonnes in 2019-20, and 38 lakh tonnes in 2018-19.
Earlier this month, sugar industry body ISMA had demanded that the government allow exports of 80 lakh tonnes of sugar for the 2022-23 marketing year given surplus production.
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) president Aditya Jhunjhunwala had written a letter to Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard.
”We would like to request the government to allow 80 lakh tonne of exports for 2022-23 SS (Sugar Season),” the ISMA president had said in the letter.
As per a preliminary estimate, Jhunjhunwala said the net sugar production, without considering the diversion of sugar for the production of ethanol, is expected to increase to about 400 lakh tonnes in 2022-23 from 394 lakh tonnes in the current marketing year.
However, he said 45 lakh tonnes of sugar are expected to get diverted for ethanol in 2022-23 as against 34 lakh tonnes in the current marketing year.
This means that actual sugar production in 2022-23 would be 355 lakh tonnes, the ISMA president said.
”Therefore, after considering domestic sugar consumption of 275 lakh tonnes in the next season (2022-23), it becomes imperative to export at least 80 lakh tonnes of surplus sugar out of the country to maintain optimum sugar balance in the country,” Jhunjhunwala said.
Exports of surplus sugar would also help in maintaining domestic sugar prices, which in turn will boost the liquidity position of mills, enabling them to pay sugarcane farmers on time.
The ISMA president mentioned that the sugarcane crushing operations in 2022-23 are expected to start from October first week itself because of huge cane availability.
Jhunjhunwala urged the government to announce the export policy for 2022-23 at the earliest so that mills can enter into futures contracts and also plan their production.