Govt plans to soon lift sugar export ban: Official
The government plans soon to lift a ban on sugar exports imposed in July after a surge in domestic prices.india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 17:29 IST
The government plans soon to lift a ban on sugar exports imposed in July after a surge in domestic prices, a senior government official told Reuters on Monday.
"We plan to lift the sugar export ban soon in view of record sugar output estimates in the new season," the official said. "The government plans to cap sugar exports at one million tonnes and the ceiling may be relaxed later."
India had banned sugar exports till the end of the financial year to March, but traders have been clamouring to lift the restriction as India produced 19.3 million tonnes of the sweetener in the season that ended in September.
Indians consume a little over 18 million tonnes sugar annually.
The official said the initial estimates were that India may produce a record 22.7 million tonnes sugar in the new season beginning in October, although the output may eventually go up by another 1 million tonnes.
"As the crushing gathers momentum and we get a clear idea of output, the initial export ceiling of 1 million tonnes may be relaxed," the official said.
Currently Indian mills have a refined sugar export obligation of 800,000 tonnes.
Indian mills need to export an equivalent quantity of white sugar against the imported raw sugar under the advance licence scheme.
"Another reason behind our plans to cap exports at 1 million tonnes is relatively low carryover stocks of 4 million tonnes against the requirement of 5 million tonnes," the official said.
He said four million tonnes was sufficient to meet two months' demand.