INDIA: Low global sugar prices trigger nearly 300,000 tonnes of OOQ imports

Published: 06/19/2017, 7:43:05 AM

In addition to the import of nearly 500,000 tonnes of raw sugar allowed by the central government, nearly 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar is on its way to the country as international raw sugar prices have tumbled, the sugar industry has said, demanding an increase in import duty as it fears an imminent fall in domestic prices, according to the Economic Times of India.

"Almost all the 477,000 tonnes of sugar under the quota is expected to arrive by June 30, 2017 and therefore, ISMA is not requesting for any extension in the date," private industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association has written in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister's Office.

ISMA president T Sarita Reddy wrote in the letter that "another 296,000 tonnes of raw sugar has been loaded in Brazil from June 1 and has either sailed or will be sailing from Brazilian ports by June 15 for India". Considering sailing time of about 40 days from Brazil to India, most of the sugar will start arriving in India from the beginning of July, industry executives said.

They said that since international prices of the commodity have reduced, raw sugar imports have become viable even at 40% import duty. That is why ISMA has sought an increase in import duty to 60 per cent.

"The government had very carefully calculated a requirement of maximum 500,000 tonnes of imports in view of surplus sugar production from the coming season itself.

Therefore, no further imports are required," the letter said.