Agri Business

India may remain net sugar exporter in 2012-13

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on November 15, 2017

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India may start the sugar year 2012-13 starting October with a carryover stock of over 5 million tonnes.

This is even if the Government decides to allow an additional export of one million tonnes as demanded by the industry.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (E-GoM) led by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to consider additional sugar export of one million tonnes on Wednesday.

The EGoM will also decide on the modalities of shipment for the additional exports approved on March 26.

A section of exporters, mainly from the West and South, have been demanding the abolition of the present quota system for exports.

They want exports to be allowed on a first-cum-first-served basis. In the present system, the export quota for each mill is decided on the basis of production in the past three years.

The Government has allowed exports of 3 million tonnes in tranches in the current season.

Surplus year

The sugar sector believes that 2012-13 will be yet another surplus year for as production may exceed domestic consumption.

As a result, the country could remain a net exporter of sugar next year too.

The International Sugar Organisation (ISO) estimates 2012-13 output at 24.5 million tonne, about 5 per cent lower than this season.

Senior economist at ISO, Mr Sergey Gudoshinkoy, said that sugar production in 2012-13 could get affected due to the cyclical nature and build up of cane arrears.

However, the output would be comfortable to meet domestic demand and India could have an export surplus of 1.5-2 million tonnes, Mr Gudoshinkoy said.

Planting data

The National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) estimates 2012-13 output at 25 million tonnes. “Based on the current sowing pattern, we expect the output would touch 25 million tonnes,” Mr Vinay Kumar, Managing Director, NFCSF, said.

According to latest data, sugarcane has been planted on 4.41 million hectares for the 2012-13 season as against 4.32 million ha in the corresponding period last year.

The Agriculture Ministry expects the cane area to be around 5.2 million ha next year.

However, the Indian Sugar Mills Association feels it is too early to estimate output for 2012-13.

Output factors

“Though we have the sowing trend for 80 per cent of the area, the output would depend on various factors such as total cane area, rainfall, recovery and diversion of cane to gur and khandsari among others,” said Mr Abinash Verma, Director-General, ISMA.

The sugar industry body will come out with its projection for next year in few weeks.

Mr Verma said the sugar output for 2012-13 will be more the domestic consumption level of 22 million tonnes.

> vishwa@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 24, 2012

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