The government will ”very soon” announce the export quota of sugar for the next marketing year starting October, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Wednesday.
He did not disclose the quantity of sugar exports that will be allowed for the 2022-23 marketing year (October-September).
”Very soon,” Pandey told reporters here when asked about the new export policy and quota for the 2022-23 marketing year.
The secretary was speaking on the sidelines of a sugar and ethanol conference organised by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and Datagro.
In May, the government imposed restrictions on the export of sugar beyond 10 million tonnes, but later allowed another 1.2 million tonnes of shipments, taking the total to 11.2 million tonnes for the 2021-22 marketing year.
India’s sugar exports stood at 7 million tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year, 5.9 million tonnes in 2019-20 and 3.8 million tonnes in 2018-19.
Industry body ISMA President Aditya Jhunjhunwala said the sugar production after the diversion of sugar for 2022-23 is estimated at 35.5 million tonnes while the domestic demand is 27.5 million tonnes.
”We can export 8 million tonnes of sugar in 2022-23 marketing year. We have urged the government to announce export quota and overall policy at the earliest,” he said.
The export window is till March only, after which Brazilian sugar will come into the global market, Jhunjhunwala said.
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) president had written a letter to food and consumer affairs minister Piyush Goyal in this regard.
As per a preliminary estimate, ISMA said the net sugar production, without considering the diversion of sugar for the production of ethanol, is expected to increase to about 40 million tonnes in 2022-23 from 39.4 million tonnes in the current marketing year.
However, 4.5 million tonnes of sugar is expected to get diverted for ethanol in 2022-23 marketing year as against 3.5 million tonnes in the current marketing year.
ISMA said the exports of surplus sugar would help in maintaining domestic sugar prices, which in turn boost the liquidity position of mills enabling them to pay sugarcane farmers on time.