Sugar mills have exported 5.11 million tonnes of the sweetener so far in the ongoing 2020-21 marketing year ending September, with maximum shipments to Indonesia, trade body AISTA said.
About 2,02,521 tonnes of sugar is under loading. An additional 6,78,237 tonne of sugar is in transit for delivery to port-based refineries, it said. Mills have contracted to export the entire 6 million tonne sugar quota assigned by the food ministry in January this year, All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said in a statement.
An additional 8,00,000 tonnes of sugar has been contracted under the OGL (open general license) route without subsidy support. The sugar marketing year runs from October to September. According to AISTA, mills have exported a total of 5.11 million tonnes of sugar from January 1 till August 5, 2021. Of the total exports undertaken so far, maximum exports have been undertaken to Indonesia at 1.69 million tonnes so far this year, followed by Afghanistan at 6,23,967 tonnes and the UAE at 4,60,816 tonnes and Sri Lanka at 3,78,280 tonnes.
"We are proud to say that the value of the sugar exported /under the process of the shipment is in excess of USD 2.5 billion or about Rs 18,600 crores, contributing to the country’s export earnings, particularly in a pandemic year and increasing the liquidity in the hands of sugar mills to pay cane price to farmers," AISTA noted.
The industry body further said that India has managed to contract around 6 million tonnes of sugar without export to Iran, which has the potential to buy 1.2 million tonnes.
With the changed political scenario in the global markets, it shall be prudent to find some mechanism to export sugar to Iran. This shall help India to widen its market and create a premium for Indian sugar," it added. As the current marketing year coming to an end, AISTA said there is an urgent need for a timely announcement of the sugar export policy for the next year. The international market has gone up from 17.28 cents per pound on July 10 to 19.59 cents per pound on August 11, 2021, a rise of about 13.4 per cent on account of weather problems in Brazil, it added. AISTA also requested the government to clear the pending subsidy claims and address the shortage of containers and rise in ocean freight.
Many export subsidy claims of previous years have not yet been settled. These claims may kindly be settled and paid expeditiously as mills will require funds before the start of the season, it said. The substantial increase in ocean freight and non-availability of containers have eroded the margins of export houses and are also proving to be a major bottleneck in export operations, it added.