Updated: January 28, 2021 11:12:40 pm
Nearly a month after the central government announced the subsidy linked sugar export programme, millers in the country have signed contracts of around 25 lakh tonnes of the sweetener. Millers feel they would be able to meet the target of 60 lakh tonnes this season also.
On Thursday, Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar, chairman, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories, said that the country could match the previous season’s export record of 59 lakh tonnes. He said exports opened up late but the country could avail of the before April window to make the most. Post April, the Brazilian mills would start operations and dominate the international sugar markets. Dandegaonkar was addressing the media to announce the national efficiency awards for sugar factories across the country on Thursday. The federation has announced 21 awards for sugar factories, which will be given away at a special ceremony to held in the vicinity of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat on March 26.
Prakash Naiknavare, MD of the national federation, said the country has scope to contract more deals in February and March. “At present, India is the only player in the international market with sugar stocks. Brazilian sugar is likely to hit the market in April and this season, Brazil has decided to focus again on ethanol production instead of sugar production.”
Naiknavare added that Indonesia has been a major importer and deals have been contracted to the tune of nearly 12 lakh tonnes so far. Some of the mills have also contracted deals under the Open General Licence (OGL) because of the demand for sugar in the market, he said.
Sanjay Khatal, MD, Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation (MSCSFF), said that although exports were beginning to pick up pace, container availability continued to pose a challenge. “The Mumbai Port Trust’s port handling charges are around Rs 1,200 per tonne as against Rs 530-550 per tonne at Kandla port. A meeting was held with the officials of the Mumbai Port Trust and all the stakeholders to sort out the issue of port handling charges,” he said.
The millers are also seeking the correction of Minimum Support Price of sugar from Rs 31 per kg to Rs 38 per kg. Dandegaonkar said a decision is expected from the Centre on this issue in the next few days. Millers are unable to make cane payments to farmers because of high Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of Rs 2,850 per tonne and low MSP of Rs 31 per kg, Dandegaonkar added.
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