The government will “very soon” announce the sugar export quota for the next marketing year starting in October, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said on Wednesday.
He did not disclose the amount 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 quotas for the 2022-23 marketing year.
The secretary was speaking on the sidelines of a conference on sugar and ethanol organized by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and Datagro.
In May, the government imposed restrictions on the export of sugar above 10 million tonnes, but then allowed an additional 1.2 million tonnes of shipments, bringing the total to 11.2 million tonnes for the 2021-22 marketing year.
India’s sugar exports amounted to 7 million tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year, 5.9 million tonnes in 2019-20 and 3.8 million tonnes in 2018-19 .
Chairman of industry body ISMA Aditya Jhunjhunwala said sugar production after sugar diversion for 2022-23 is estimated at 35.5 million tonnes while domestic demand is 27.5 million tonnes .
“We can export 8 million tons of sugar in the 2022-23 marketing year. We have urged the government to announce the export quotas and overall policy at the earliest,” he said.
The export window is only until March, after which Brazilian sugar will enter the world market, Jhunjhunwala said.
The President of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) had written a letter to the Minister of Food and Consumer Affairs, Piyush Goyal, in this regard.
According to a preliminary estimate, ISMA said net sugar production, excluding the diversion of sugar for ethanol production, is expected to increase to around 40 million tonnes in 2022-23, from 39.4 million. tonnes for the current marketing campaign.
However, 4.5 million tons of sugar are expected to be diverted to ethanol in the 2022-23 marketing year, compared to 3.5 million tons in the current marketing year.
ISMA said exports of surplus sugar would help maintain domestic sugar prices, which in turn would increase the liquidity position of mills, allowing them to pay cane growers on time.