'Export of extra 1 mn MT sugar depends on domestic output estimate'
NEW DELHI: India, the world’s second largest sugar producing nation after Brazil, can export an additional 1 million tonnes of the sweetener if the domestic output reaches an estimated 33.6 million tonnes this year, a senior food ministry official said on Monday.
The government will take a call next month on allowing more quantities of sugar exports, after assessing domestic production, he said.
Sugar availability is comfortable in the country and as a result wholesale and retail prices of the sweetener are on a decline in the last one month.
The food ministry has allowed 6 million tonnes of sugar exports for the current 2022-23 marketing year (October-September).
India exported a record 11 million tonnes of sugar in the previous year.
“More exports are possible and we have a cushion for exports of additional one million tonnes, suppose the overall production reaches the estimated 33.6 million tonnes this year,” the official said.
Sugar production has already reached 24.7 million tonnes till February of the ongoing 2022-23 marketing year, while mills have despatched 4.3 million tonnes for exports so far this year, he said.
The crushing operation will come to an end by the next month and the government will review exports after assessing the final production figures, he added.
According to the food ministry, the country’s sugar production has been estimated lower at 33.6 million tonnes for the 2022-23 marketing year, due to fall in production in the top three producing states.
Sugar production in Maharashtra, the country’s leading sugar producing state, is estimated to be lower at 12 million tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year, as against 13.7 million tonnes in the previous year.
Production in Uttar Pradesh is also likely to decline marginally to 10 million tonnes, as against 10.2 million tonnes, while that of in Karnataka it is estimated to drop to 5.5 million tonnes, as against 6.2 million tonnes during the comparable period, as per the official data.
About 5 million tonnes of sugar will be diverted for ethanol production this year, much higher than 3.6 million tonnes in the previous year.
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