New Delhi: The Union government will continue to prohibit sugar exports this season (October 2023 to September 2024) after a drop in production due to lack of rain.
Officials said their top priorities are to produce ethanol and to have an adequate supply available in the domestic market, especially in an election year, according to the Hindu BusinessLine.
In a notification issued on October 28, 2022, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said it would be mandatory for exporters to have a prior permit from the food ministry. He said that the restriction on sugar exports would be in place until further orders or October 31, 2023.
“The Director General of Foreign Trade will notify the sugar export policy this week as the validity of the previous notification expires on October 31,” an official source said. While there will be a continuation of the earlier policy, there are two likely changes this time – there will be no deadline, and organic export will not be exempted from restriction, sources told the newspaper.
This restriction will halt shipments for the first time in seven years.
India restricted the amount of exports during 2022-23 as well, allowing mills to export only 6.1 million tonnes of sugar after letting them sell a record 11.1 million tonnes the season before.
In an interview with news agency Reuters in August, a government source who asked not to be named in line with official rules said, “Our primary focus is to fulfill local sugar requirements and produce ethanol from surplus sugarcane. For the upcoming season, we will not have enough sugar to allocate for export quotas.”
“Though it is not a ban, it has the same meaning if permits are not issued for export. However, an early announcement will help mills plan how much sugarcane to be diverted to make sugar and how much for ethanol,” an industry expert said.