As a measure to balance the price stability of sugar in the country and the financial positions of sugar mills in the country, based on initial estimates of sugarcane production, the Government of India has allowed export of sugar up to 60 LMT during the sugar season 2022-23. DGFT has already notified to extend the inclusion of sugar exports under ‘Restricted’ category up to 31st October, 2023.
The Central Government has prioritised availability of about 275 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) sugar for domestic consumption, about 50 LMT sugar for diversion to ethanol production and to have a closing balance of about 60 LMT as on 30.09.2023. The balance sugar produced by sugar mills in the country would be allowed for exports. As per the Government, sugarcane production in the country will be reviewed periodically and based on the latest available estimates, the quantity of sugar exports to be allowed could be reconsidered.
During SS 2021-22, India exported 110 LMT sugar and became the world’s second largest exporter of sugar, earning about Rs. 40,000 crore worth of foreign exchange for the country. Timely payment and low carrying cost of stocks for sugar mills also resulted in early clearance of cane arrears of farmers. As on 31.10.2022, more than 96% of cane dues of farmers for SS 2021-22 were cleared despite record procurement of sugarcane of more than 1.18 lakh crore rupees.
In the sugar export policy for SS 2022-23, the Government has announced sugar mill wise export quota for all sugar mills in the country, with an objective system based on average production of sugar mills in the last three years and average sugar production of the country in the last three years. Further, to expedite sugar exports and to ensure flexibility to sugar mills in execution of the export quota, mills may decide to surrender the quota partially or fully within 60 days of the date of issue of order OR they can swap the export quota with domestic quota within 60 days.
As per the Government, at the end of Sugar Season 2022-23, it is expected that most sugar mills will be able to sell their production either in domestic market or in international market through exports and will clear the cane dues of farmers in time.