India’s sugar mills struggling to export surplus as overseas prices fall
India’s sugar exports are likely to be far lower than a 5 million-tonne target set by New Delhi as a strengthening rupee and falling global prices make shipments unattractive despite a government push for overseas sales, industry officials said.
Lower shipments from the world’s No. 2 sugar producer could support global prices that fell more than 20 percent in 2018, but fewer exports could also increase Indian stockpiles ahead of the next marketing season and force the government to provide more support to an ailing industry.
India is likely to export 2.5 million to 3.5 million tonnes of sugar in the 2018/19 marketing year that started on October 1, five dealers and three industry officials told Reuters.
Indian mills have contracted to export 1.4 million tonnes of sugar since the start of the marketing season on October 1, shipping around 650,000 tonnes so far, four dealers said.
“Mills are not ready to sign new contracts as the difference in local and overseas prices widened,” said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading company that exports the sweetener out of India
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