Expressing that India’s demand for sugar was responsible for the global price rise in the sweetener, the government on Tuesday said it did not have any plan to import on its own account.
“There is no proposal for import of sugar on government account,” Minister of State for Food K V Thomas told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
He also agreed that the demand for sugar from India and some other countries has pushed up the global prices.
According to the price data supplied by the Minister, the global price of white sugar has increased by 20 per cent in the past year to 456 dollars a tonne in June 2009 from 379 dollars a tonne in July 2008.
However, in the domestic wholesale market sugar prices have jumped by over 45 per cent to Rs 2,475 a quintal in June 2009 from Rs 1,700 a quintal in July 2008.
Consumers say they have seen a rise of nearly 59 per cent in retail prices during past one year. The retail prices of sugar were in the range of Rs 25-27 a kg in June this year as against Rs 17-19 per kg in July 2008.
Pointing that the country’s estimated sugar production in the current season is 108-113 lakh tonnes less than the last season’s, Thomas said the lower production has put pressure on prices of sugar in the market.
The sugar production in 2008-09 (October-September) is estimated to be in the range of 150-155 lakh tonnes compared to 263 lakh tonnes in 2007-08, he added.