Govt may allow 200,000 tonnes sugar exports on Tuesday

Govt may allow 200,000 tonnes sugar exports on Tuesday

New Delhi: Govt is likely to allow 200,000 tonnes of sugar exports on Tuesday under unrestricted sales, less than half a million tonne permitted earlier, industry sources said, a move seen putting more pressure on global prices.

India, the world’s top producer after Brazil and the biggest consumer of the sweetener, has flip-flopped on allowing 500,000 tonnes of unrestricted sugar exports, unsure of stocks at a time when the country is struggling to contain high food inflation.

In December, a minister said mills could export the permitted quantity. But a month later, the government referred the issue to a panel of ministers.

“The finance ministry has favoured 200,000 tonnes of exports instead of 500,000 tonnes permitted earlier," an industry source told reporters on Monday.

The panel is likely to take up the issue on Tuesday. Chances of exports being allowed brightened after India this month raised the minimum support price for cane, a move seen as boosting output for the next season. Food inflation has also come down in recent weeks.

Trade and industry bodies had been demanding the allowing of the permitted quantities of exports to cash in on higher global prices that could help sugar mills clear dues to cane growers.

But global prices have eased on prospects of higher output from India after touching a 30-year high last month.

At 1135 GMT, New York sugar futures traded down 0.2 cent or 0.79% at 27.49 cents a pound, below last month’s high of 36.08 cents.

London May white sugar was down $5.6 or 0.8% at $705.00 per tonne.