New Delhi: India needs to import another 1.6 million tonne of sugar by the end of September to make up for the domestic shortfall, a senior official of a millers body said on Wednesday.
The forecast by M.N. Rao, acting director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association, is much lower than J.P. Morgan’s estimate that the world’s top consumer may need 4-5 million tonnes in the rest of the sugar season that runs from October to September.
Rao said India had imported 7 million tonnes since last April, though no new deals have been contracted in the past 45 days due to high international prices.
India’s sugar output fell for two consecutive years, helping boost New York Raw sugar futures to their highest in nearly three decades.
Sugar prices in India almost doubled last year, mounting pressure on the government to control inflation that rose to a one-year high in December.
Inflation has risen primarily due to higher food prices after the worst monsoon rains in 37 years damaged crops last year.