India's sugar exports rise 20% to record 7.1 MT in 2020-21: ISMA

India's sugar export rose 20 per cent to an all-time high of 7.1 million tonne in the 2020-21 marketing year ended last month on the back of better demand and financial assistance from the government, industry body ISMA said on Friday.

Sugar exports stood at 5.9 million tonne in the 2019-20 marketing year (October-September).

Addressing a sugar conference, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) Director General Abinash Verma said sugar production is estimated to remain flat at 31 million tonne in the 2021-22 marketing year, starting Friday.

The total availability of sugar is estimated to touch 39.5 million tonne, including an opening stock of 8.5 million tonne of sweetener, he said.

The domestic consumption is estimated at 26.5 million tonne while exports are estimated at 6 million tonne, Verma said, adding that the closing stock would be 7 million tonne at the end of this marketing year.

The ISMA DG pointed out that India witnessed cyclical sugar production till 2009-10 but "India has now become structural surplus sugar producer in the last 10 years".

Talking about ethanol, Verma said annual production capacity is expected to reach 14 billion litres by 2025 from 3.5 billion litres of annual capacity in 2018.

He said the target is to divert 6 million tonne of surplus sugar to ethanol by 2025.

On ethanol blending with petrol, Verma said the blending level will reach 8.5 per cent in 2020-21 ethanol marketing year ending November with supply of 3.25 billion litre to oil marketing companies (OMCs)

In the next 2021-22 ethanol marketing year, the blending level is estimated to reach 10 per cent with supply of 4.25 billion litre to OMCs.

To overcome the challenge of high costs of cane and sugar, Verma stressed on rationalising the sugarcane pricing policy in India.

The government should not fix cane prices and instead link cane price to revenue realised from sugar and by-products, he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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