Mumbai: India has imposed a limit on the amount of sugar that mills can sell in the market during February and March, according to a government order late on Thursday, as the world’s second biggest producer tries to prop up prices of the sweetener.

At the end of February mills need to be holding as inventory at least 83% of the opening stock from January and February’s production. The limit is 86% for the end March, the government order said. Local sugar prices have fallen 17% since the start of the marketing year on 1 October as mills were aggressively selling to pay farmers cane price.

India has raised cane price by 11% and mills are required to pay cane farmers within two weeks of harvest. India increased the import duty on sugar to 100% from 50% on Tuesday. Reuters