NEW DELHI : The country's sugar exports surged to 17.44 lakh tonnes so far in the current marketing year ending September, as against about 5 lakh tonnes shipped in the entire 2017-18, industry data showed Thursday.

Out of the 17.44 lakh tonnes exported between October 1 and April 6, raw sugar accounted for nearly 8 lakh tonnes, the All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said in a statement.

Another 4.3 lakh tonnes are in the export pipeline, it added.

"Total sugar export contract so far is around 27 lakh tonnes, out of which 21.7 lakh tonnes have been dispatched from mills," AISTA CEO R P Bhagria told PTI.

India had exported around 5 lakh tonnes of the sweetener in the last marketing year amid lower prices in the global markets, which made Indian shipments uncompetitive.

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Iran are the major export destinations, AISTA added.

The Centre has asked mills to export 50 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2018-19 marketing year (October-September) to liquidate surplus stock. The government is providing various incentives to boost sugar exports.

India's sugar production is estimated to decline to around 310 lakh tonnes this marketing year from 325 lakh tonnes in the previous year. Still, the country has surplus stock as annual domestic demand is around 260 lakh tonnes and mills are carrying a huge stock from the previous year.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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