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Sugar Exports in India Increases By 17% In 2020-2021

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Sugar Mill In India
Sugar Mill In India

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today that about 70 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of sugar was exported in sugar season 2020-21, up from 59.60 LMT in sugar season 2019-20, which is a 17.45 per cent increase. 

After discounting the diversion of 35 LMT of sugar to ethanol, sugar output is anticipated to be about 308 LMT in the current sugar season 2021-22, compared to an estimated domestic demand of 270 LMT. The government is pushing sugar mills to export surplus sugar and redirect surplus sugarcane/sugar to ethanol in order to sell surplus sugar stock available with sugar mills and improve their liquidity, allowing them to make timely payments of sugar cane dues to farmers. Roughly 70 LMT of sugar was exported in the previous sugar season 2020-21, with approximately 22 LMT of sugar that has been diverted to ethanol. 

Data regarding the financial condition of any sugar factory (co-operative/private/public undertaking) is not maintained by DFPD. However, with a view to improve the liquidity position of sugar mills including co-operative sugar mills of the country, the Government has been taking various interventions from time to time viz. provided assistance to sugar mills to offset the cost of cane, fixation of Minimum Selling Price of sugar, extended financial assistance to sugar mills for maintenance of buffer stocks, extended financial assistance to sugar mills to facilitate export of sugar, extended soft loans to sugar mills, etc. 

Further, in order to improve the liquidity of sugar mills and to make the sugar sector self-sustainable, the Government is encouraging sugar mills to divert excess sugarcane/sugar to ethanol which is blended with petrol. In past four sugar seasons 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21; about Rs. 35000 crore revenue has been generated by sugar mills/distilleries from the sale of ethanol to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) which has helped in clearing cane price arrears of farmers. 

The Central Government, with a view to facilitating the export of sugar thereby improving the liquidity of sugar mills enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers, has extended assistance to sugar mills in sugar seasons 2015-16, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. An amount of approximately ₹12900 crore has been released to various sugar mills on account of assistance to facilitate the export of sugar since sugar season 2015-16. As a result, about 16.5 LMT, 6.2 LMT, 38 LMT, 59.60 LMT and 70 LMT have been exported in sugar seasons 2015-16, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively. Due to the global deficit of sugar, prices of sugar in the international market are now stable due to which export of sugar is presently viable even without extending assistance; contracts of about 30 LMT for export of sugar have already been signed in the current sugar season 2021-22. 

Further, to facilitate export surplus sugar from the country, custom duties on the export of sugar has been reduced to zero by the Central Government. 

Source: PIB 

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