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Sugar exports likely to pick up.

Date: 28-02-2020
Subject: Sugar exports likely to pick up
New Delhi: Sugar exports from India are likely to pick up with Indonesia showing interest in importing 1.3 million tonnes by May. Indonesia has said it will prioritise its purchase from India. This will help millers settle the cane arrears of farmers, officials said.

The government gives millers an export subsidy of Rs 10,448 per tonne, which should be transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers to settle arrears. The total accumulated arrears at the start of new season in October 2019 was around Rs 6,000 crore, which has now come down to Rs 1,700 crore.

“The more the exports, the faster farmers get their arrears. So far, we have been able to export 2 million tonnes of sugar. We expect to ship at least 5 million tonnes by September,” said a senior food ministry official.

The government has set a sugar export target of 6 million tonnes. Last year, the government had asked millers to export 5 million tonnes, but they managed to export 3.8 million tonnes, of which only 555 tonnes was imported by Indonesia.

Abinash Verma, director general of Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), said India’s chances of sugar exports have brightened with estimated lower sugar production in Thailand.

“Due to drought in Thailand, the sugar production there is likely to drop by around 30% at 9.5 million tonnes. This gives India an opportunity to export sugar to Indonesia, South Korea and China. This will give boost to our export,” he said.

He said Indonesia has lowered its specification to accommodate Indian sugar.

“Indonesia generally imports sugar having International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA) level of 1,200 or more. It has now lowered ICUMSA to 600 to allow import of Indian sugar,” he said.

According to ISMA, the sugar output is likely to touch 26 million tonnes, down 21.5% from last year, which is the lowest in three years. The output is just enough to meet the annual domestic demand.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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