India’s sugar exports in the current season 2021-22 grew 15 times to 70 lakh tonnes as compared with the outward shipment in 2017-18, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Food Distribution said on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
In the sugar season 2020-21, against the target of 60 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), around 70 LMT have been exported, the ministry said in a statement. In 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, sugar shipments were 6.2 LMT, 38 LMT and 59.60 LMT, respectively.
About Rs 14,456 crore was released to sugar mills in the last five years to facilitate exports of sugar and Rs 2,000 crore as carrying cost for maintaining buffer stock, the ministry said.
Top importing countries of sugar from India
Major importing countries for sugar in season 2021-22 are Indonesia, Afghanistan, UAE, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia and African countries.
“Since international sugar prices are in an uptrend and stable, therefore, contracts for export of about 90 LMT have been signed to export sugar in the current sugar season 2021-22 and that too without a declaration of any export subsidy; out of which 75 LMT have been exported till 18.05.2022,” the statement said.
Government initiatives to boost Sugar Industry
To address the problem of excess sugar, the government is encouraging sugar mills to convert excess sugarcane into ethanol. To boost the agricultural economy, reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels, save foreign exchange on account of crude oil import bills and reduce air pollution, the Centre has fixed a target of 10 per cent blending of fuel-grade ethanol with petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent blending by 2025, the ministry said.
As of 2014, the ethanol distillation capacity of molasses-based distilleries was only 215 crore litres. However, due to the policy changes made by the government in the last 8 years, the capacity of molasses-based distilleries has been increased to 569 crore liters.
“The capacity of grain-based distilleries has increased to 298 crore liters from 206 crore liters in 2014. Thus, the total ethanol production capacity has increased from 421 crore liters to 867 crore liters in just 8 years,” the statement said.”