Indian mill hopes to export 1.5 million tonnes of sugar after selling 8.5 million tonnes

India, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of sugar, on May 24 imposed restrictions on the export of sweeteners for the first time in six years, capping exports at 10 million tonnes.

The government has also asked exporters to apply for export permits, or authorizations, for any overseas shipments between June 1 and October 31.

“Until the restrictions on registering shipments with us come into effect on June 1, the mill exports about 8.5 million tonnes of sugar,” said a senior government official who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to media.

Another government official, who also declined to be named, confirmed the shipment.

World prices are attractive and sugar mills want to take advantage of rising international tariffs, but are waiting for the government to issue export permits, traders said.

“Current world prices are attractive for exports and there is a huge demand for Indian sugar,” said a Mumbai-based trader at an international trading house. “India could easily export 10 million tonnes.”

“The crushing of the sugar cane is almost complete and the mills have sold most of their stock of raw sugar, so in the coming months they will be exporting mainly white sugar,” the trader said.

Sugarcane crushing in India begins in October and decreases in April.

Traders are currently offering Indian raw sugar between 465 and 470 dollars per tonne for free, and white sugar between 480 and 485 dollars per tonne.

There is a strong demand for Indian sugar, especially from Iran, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the UAE (United Arab Emirates),” said Rahil Shaikh, managing director of MEIR Commodities India, a trading house.

Serena Hoyles

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