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India must quickly allow 5 lakh T sugar exports

India must quickly allow 5 lakh T sugar exports
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First Published: Thu, Mar 10 2011. 06 18 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Mar 10 2011. 06 18 PM IST
New Delhi: India must soon allow 500,000 tonnes of unrestricted sugar exports and bumper cane harvests can easily help the world’s top consumer to ship out 1.5 million tonnes more of the sweetener, industry officials said.
Sugar output in 2010-11 in India, the world’s second-biggest producer behind Brazil, might cross 25 million tonnes, said Narendra Murkumbi, president of Indian Sugar Mills Association, a producers’ body.
India has flip-flopped on 500,000 tonnes of unrestricted sugar exports, termed Open General Licence (OGL) sales.
In December, a minister said mills could export the permitted quantity under the licence. But rising domestic food inflation put pressure on the government, which referred the issue to a panel of ministers.
Trade and industry bodies have been asking the government to allow the permitted exports under OGL to take advantage of high global prices and pass on the benefit to cane growers.
The government had, last week, retained its sugar output estimate of 24.5 million tonnes for the new season that began in October.
Trade officials also said millers would meet export commitments of 1 million tonnes against previous sugar imports during the first half of the current season on higher production.
Murkumbi said the country’s sugar output in the first five months of the current season rose by 19% to 16.3 million tonnes.
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First Published: Thu, Mar 10 2011. 06 18 PM IST