Sugar exports peaked before government restricted outbound shipments

India, the world’s second largest sugar producer, has exported 3.06 million metric tons (MT) of the sweetener through June 2 this fiscal year – 53% higher than a year earlier – official sources told FE. The unusual rise gives some credence to the government’s fears that sugar supplies could be significantly depleted by the festival season if outbound shipments were allowed unimpeded.

Interestingly, the country, which capped sugar exports for the current marketing year through September to 10 tons on May 24, has shipped far more raw than refined sugar since April, official data showed. The trend was more pronounced in May, when it exported 1 tonne of raw sugar, well above 0.42 tonnes of refined sugar. In April, it shipped 0.73 tons of raw sugar, against 0.71 tons of refined sugar.

“The higher raw sugar exports in May may have been driven in part by speculation that the government may soon restrict sugar exports. Many traders may have rushed to ship raw sugar without trying to get it refined, fearing possible government action,” said a miller from Uttar Pradesh. In May 2021, India exported 0.52 tons of raw sugar, compared to 0.46 tons of refined sugar. By April 2021, however, it had shipped 0.68 tons of sugar, compared to 0.35 tons of white sugar.

After notifying its plan to regulate sugar exports to keep local supplies stable, the Ministry of Food had asked the factories for a permit from the Sugar Directorate to ship the sweetener between June 1 and October 31. , and submit the details of the dispatches on the Directorate’s portal on a daily basis. †

Re-exports of refined sugar made from raw sugar imported under the advance authorization may not require prior authorization, the company said.

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