The Central government on Wednesday imposed restrictions on sugar exports up to 100 lakhs metric tonnes (LMT) from June 1, 2022, to maintain domestic availability and price stability during the sugar season 2021-22 (October-September).
As per the order issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) with effect from June 1, 2022, till October 31, 2022, or till further order, whichever is earlier, the export of the sugar will be allowed with specific permission of the Directorate of Sugar under Department of Food and Public Distribution.
Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Sudhanshu Pandey said that the decision came in the light of record exports of sugar.
In sugar seasons 2017-18, only about 6.2 LMT of sugar was exported. In 2018-19, 38 LMT and 2019-20 59.60 LMT of sugar was exported, Pandey said.
However, in sugar season 2020-21 against a target of 60 LMT about 70 LMT have been exported.
In the current sugar season 2021-22, contracts for export of about 90 LMT have been signed, about 82 LMT of sugar has been dispatched from sugar mills for export and approximately 78 LMT have been exported.
The secretary said that the export of sugar in the current sugar season 2021-22 is historically the highest.
He said that the decision will ensure that the closing stock of sugar at the end of sugar season (30th Sept 2022) remains 60-65 LMT which is 2-3 months stocks (monthly requirement is around 24 LMT in those months) required for domestic use.
He added that crushing in the new season starts in the last week of October in Karnataka and in the last week of October to November in Maharashtra and in November in Uttar Pradesh.
“So generally, up to Nov, supply of sugar takes place from previous year’s stock,” Pandey added.
“Taking into consideration unprecedented growth in exports of sugar and the need to maintain sufficient stock of sugar in the country as well as to safeguard the interests of the common citizens of the country by keeping prices of sugar under check, the Government of India has decided to regulate sugar exports w.e.f. 01 June 2022,” an order issued by the ministry said.
Sugar mills and exporters need to take approvals in form of Export Release Orders (EROs) from the Directorate of Sugar, Department of Food and Public Distribution.
The government has been continuously monitoring the situation in the sugar sector including sugar production, consumption, export as well as price trends in wholesale and retail markets all over the country.
India is the highest producer and the second-largest exporter of sugar in the world in the current year.
As a result of regular efforts of the Government of India, despite record production of sugar, 99.5 percent of cane dues for last sugar season 2020-21 have been paid and about 85 percent of cane dues for current sugar season 2021-22 have also been released to farmers.
The government of India is committed to maintaining stable prices of sugar in the domestic market and in the last 12 months, prices of sugar are under control, the ministry added.
Wholesale prices of sugar in India are range bound between Rs 3,150-3,500 per quintal while retail prices are also within control in the range of Rs 36-44 in different parts of the country. (ANI)