Government’s decision on sugar exports next week

November 17th, 2011 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) A group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to take a decision next week on allowing sugar exports in 2011-12 marketing year, a minister said Thursday.

“We will take a decision on sugar exports Monday next week,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas told reporters here.

Export of sugar from India, the world’s second largest producer and the biggest consumer, is regulated by the government.

The sugar industry has been pushing the government to allow exports of sugar in view of the bumper crop in the last marketing year and the expected even better crop during the current marketing year (Oct 1, 2011 to Nov 30, 2012).

“We are asking for immediate export of sugar. Without export, it will be difficult for the sugar mills to pay the sugarcane farmers,” Vinay Kumar, managing director of Indian Sugar Exim Corporation, a premier body representing private Indian sugar exporters, told IANS.

Vinay Kumar said the sugar mills can make Rs.3,000 to Rs.4,000 more on export of each tonne of sugar. “Price in the international market has declined recently but still there is a significant difference, almost Rs.3,000 to Rs.4,000 per tonne,” he said.

He said the sugar industry was pushing for export of 4 million tonnes of sugar in the current marketing year.

Sugar production in India is estimated to increase to 25 million tonnes in the current marketing year from 24.3 million tonne in 2010-11 and nearly 19 million tonne in the previous year, according to the official estimate.

As per the industry estimate, the sugar production is likely to reach 26 million tonnes in the current marketing year.

In the marketing year 2010-11, the government allowed exports of 2.6 million tonnes of sugar.

Vinay Kumar said annual domestic demand for sugar is estimated at around 22 million tonnes.

“We hope that the sugar production is likely to increase to 26 million tonnes this marketing year. This will leave us with surplus of 4 million tonnes,” he said, adding the government should allow the export of surplus sugar.

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