In an effort to keep prices under control, the Indian government, last June, had put restrictions on the export of sugar. The decision was taken in view of the sugar prices back then in the country and was aimed at maintaining domestic availability amid rising food and fuel prices. However, the ‘sugar situation’ seems to be improving and with the beginning of the new marketing year this October, India is set to allow 5 million tonnes of Sugar Exports in India.
The final permission to export 5 million tonnes is still underway and is expected to come in the next couple of weeks. Additionally, once the Indian government has assessed the availability of stocks in the next sugar year’s production, the government could allow an additional 3-5 million
tonnes of sugar for export. Early estimates suggest that sugar output in this season, that is, 2022-23 would be around 36 million tonnes. So, according to the official data,* India will have a sizable exportable surplus in FY2022-23 after factoring in the local demand and requirements for ethanol production and mills.
However, given the situation, the government of India would still act cautious and will allow exports of 9 or 10 million in one go. Sudhanshu Pandey, the Secretary to the Department of Food and Public Distribution** ensured that keeping a reasonably sufficient reserve of sugar for consumption is the government’s priority. He added that October and November are festival months and thus the need for keeping the sugar supply is paramount.
The Move Shows Promise
The Government of India’s decision to curb sugar exports while prioritising domestic needs, have allowed the sky high sugar prices in the local market to settle down and have also allowed the producers to fill up their stocks. Furthermore, there is a need for the Government of India to supplement the demands for its distribution programmes wherein sugar and other food grains are distributed to a section of the population.
Now, it looks like India’s decision to limit sugar exports seems to have served its purpose. The prices are stabilising and there is now a sufficient reserve. This prompted the Government of India to ease the restrictions and as a result, India is set to allow the export of 5 million tonnes of sugar which will majorly lift the spirits of Indian sugar exporters as well as the sugarcane farmers. Notably, traders have already signed deals to export 4,00,000 tonnes of raw sugar for the 2022/23 season.
Moreover, there has been a decrease in production in the last three years in the major sugar producing countries like Brazil. This has resulted in a chain of reactions and has significantly affected the global sugar trade. Sugar Suppliers in India
India has forecasted a bumper crushing season and seems to be easing its limitations on sugar export. With Indian sugar diluting the global markets, a significant recovery can be seen in the global sugar market.
All the food commodities across the globe are seeing a major price hike. This trend is a result of high production costs, a depreciating dollar, and disruptions in the supply chain due to the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. However, maintaining seamless outbound supplies and managing the domestic supply at the same time is a feat that India has accomplished.
Sources: *The Hindu, **PIB