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Friday, June 22, 2007

EU offers India a helping hand; to import more sugar

NEW DELHI, JUN 20 : The European Union has come to the rescue of Indian sugar industry by offering to import additional 6,000 tonne raw sugar against the preferential tariff.
With this preferential access for 6,000 tonne in place, the country can export 32,000 tonne sugar, including 10,000 tonne plantation white sugar.

Indian sugar industry has been lobbying with Brussels to increase the preferential quota access. In a discussion with the director in the European Commission ministry of agriculture and rural development, Russell Mildon last week, the EU agreed to give preferential access to additional 6,000 tonne raw sugar from India.
“We pleaded for augmentation of European preferential quota for import and we succeeded,” the director of Indian Sugar Mills Association, SL Jain told FE.
According to the data available till April, this year over 693,870 tonne sugar has been exported to 36 countries since the cane crushing began in October 2006. Industry has estimated a bumper sugar output of 28.5 million tonne in 2006-07 sugar year. With a carryover stock of 4 million tonne from the previous year and with a bumper production, the current year is likely to have a surplus of 13.5 million tonne after meeting the domestic consumption need of 19 million tonne. In this situation the industry is hard pressed with falling price and therefore seeking outlet for exports.
But the export front is not that remunerative with falling global prices for white plantation sugar. “Global prices for plantation white sugar is falling below $ 300 a tonne, while the prices of raw sugar is appreciating. We are, therefore keen on export of raw sugar. Many of the importing countries are setting by refineries and would need raw sugar,” said the director of National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories, Vinay Kumar.
Industry has already booked export contract orders for 235,000 tonne raw sugar to Dubai refineries. The export would commence from December, this year, he said.

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