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The Union government has allowed additional sugar exports of 1.2 million tonnes (mt) from 1 August, a move that would benefit sugarcane growers and sugar producers.

This would also help to earn more foreign exchange and narrow the trade deficit, according to the government.

The government had imposed curbs on sugar exports beyond 10 mt from 1 June to boost local availability of the commodity and control higher prices.

However, improvement in sugar stocks due to higher production and weak sugar demand in the domestic market led the government to reconsider the measure.

“The position was reviewed by the Government in last week of July 2022 and it has been decided to allow export of sugar up to 112 lmt (lakh metric tonnes) in the interest of sugarcane farmers and sugar industry," the commerce and industry ministry said in a press release on Friday. It said that even after the easing of export curbs, closing sugar stocks of 6 mt would be maintained.

Also, with sugarcane crushing in Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states set to start in October, there would be sufficient availability of sugar in the country at reasonable prices and retail prices are likely to remain stable.

Crushing of sugarcane generally starts by the end of October or the first week of November, but due to sufficient availability of sugarcane, this is likely to start between the first and third week of October this year, and new sugar would start arriving in the market from mid-October, the government said. It explained that export of 10 mt of sugar till 1 August has helped to improve the liquidity of sugar mills by 33,000 crore, enabling them to clear farmer dues.

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