Bangkok: Thailand has sold 21,200 tonnes of white sugar to India for prompt shipment, traders and industry officials said on Friday.
“That was the second lot, after we sold the first lot in five years of 15,000 tonnes to New Delhi in April,” one trader said.
Around 6,700 tonnes was believed to have been sold through Cargill and the other 14,500 tonnes through Louis Dreyfus, said an official at the office of the cane and sugar board.
Traders said India was looking to buy white sugar to bring down domestic prices, which have risen due to falling supply.
India, the world’s top sugar consumer, is expected to produce 15 million tonnes of the sweetener in the year to September, down 43% from a year ago, according to a finance ministry survey.
Indian state-run trading firm MMTC Ltd said on Monday it planned to import 30,000 tonnes of white sugar in the next two to three months.
With firm demand, the premium on Thai white sugar remained strong, quoted at $19 per tonne over London futures prices, traders said.
London August white sugar eased $9.30 to settle at $450.30 per tonne on Thursday.
“I think Thai white sugar should remain firm for a couple of months, supported by fresh demand from India,” said a Bangkok-based trader.
On the raw sugar market, premiums have eased to a near four-month low due to a jump in New York prices, traders said.
The premium on Thai raw sugar was quoted at 45 points over New York prices, a level last seen in March, they said.
“There’s no exciting news on the raw market,” one trader said. “The fall in Thai premiums was just a reaction to soaring New York prices.”
The key October New York raw sugar contract hit a three-year high on Monday due to buying by funds. It settled at 17.58 cents per lb on Thursday.
On Thursday, the state-run Thai Cane and Sugar Corp (TCSC) sold 115,500 tonnes of 2009/10 raw sugar to international trading firms. The TCSC has sold 256,500 tonnes of 2009/10 raw sugar so far this year.
Thailand, Asia’s biggest sugar exporter, allocates 800,000 tonnes of raw sugar each year for the TCSC to sell. Half is sold through tenders to international trading firms and the rest to domestic mills for export.