India Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) expressed its approval of the government’s decision to impose a 50% export duty on molasses derived from sugar extraction or refining, according to a press release on Tuesday.
Approximately 15-16 lakh tons of molasses are exported annually, constituting nearly 10% of the total production. In ethanol terms, this equates to around 38 crore liters of ethanol.
Given the current government directive limiting sugarcane juice/syrup for ethanol production, and encouraging the use of C Heavy molasses in sugar mills, ISMA had urged the government to halt molasses exports. The 50% export duty imposition aligns with this request, welcomed by M Prabhakar Rao, President ISMA.
Rao further urged the government to consider raising the procurement price of ethanol from Sugarcane syrup/juice, B-heavy molasses, and C-heavy molasses feedstocks by at least Rs 10 per liter for ESY 2023-24. ISMA, in a recent letter, expressed concern about the current pricing structure’s failure to reflect production costs and substantial industry investments in diverse ethanol sources. President Rao reiterated the sugar industry’s and ISMA’s commitment to the government’s Ethanol Blending Program.