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India can export 6 mln tons of sugar next season: ISMA

New Delhi, India, the world”s second largest sugar producer, can export 6 million tonne of the sweetener in the 2021-22 season commencing next month, taking advantage of the firm global market, industry body ISMA said on Thursday.

The country exported about 6.67 million tonne of sugar in the first 11 months of the 2020-21 season (October-September), higher than the 5.57 million tonne shipment made in the year-ago period.

Total sugar exports in the current season could surpass 7 million tonne, it said.

Currently, global prices are ruling a more than four-year high at round 20 cents per pound due to likely sugar deficit in the world market in the next season on expected fall in production in Brazil, it added.

“This would mean that Indian sugar mills have a good opportunity to export their surplus sugar in the next couple of months up to January 2022, and thereafter till April 2022 before Brazilian sugar comes into the market,” Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.

Many sugar mills have signed forward contracts for export in the upcoming season, it said.

“It is therefore believed and expected that Indian sugar mills will avail this opportunity and will be able to export to the tune of 6 million tonne of sugar during the next season also,” it added.

ISMA said global sugar prices are expected to remain bullish on reports of likely fall in production in Brazil, the world”s largest producer of the sweetener, owing to dry weather conditions.

Brazil is facing dry weather conditions due to drought followed by incidence of frost in the current 2021-22 season (April-March). It is also reported that Brazil”s next sugar season may also get affected due to the worst ever drought in the country in the last 90 years.

“Due to this, many global agencies including International Sugar Organisation (ISO) have projected a higher sugar deficit to the tune of 4-5 million tonne in the 2021-22 season,” ISMA said.

Further, sugar production in Thailand is likely to increase in the next season as compared to previous years, but still will be lower than its normal production of 14-14.5 million tonnes, by almost 3–3.5 million tonne, ISMA said, adding that Thailand sugar would come into the market only after January 2022.

According to ISMA, the country exported 6.67 million tonne of exports till August of the ongoing 2020-21 season ending this month.

Out of which, 6.22 million tonne was exported under quota assigned by the Food Ministry and some quantity under open general licence scheme.

As of September 6, another 2,29,000 tonne of sugar is at the ports, either loaded on to vessels or in the godowns waiting for more vessels to arrive.

“This would mean that considering that another 20 days are left in the current season, total exports in the current season could cross 7 million tonne,” ISMA said.

Of the total exports, India exported 3.42 million tonne raw sugar, 2.56 million tonne of white sugar and 1,88,000 tonne of refined sugar, it added. PTI