Indian millers may have to export raw sugar to meet 3.2 million tonne target

Published on : January 15, 2016 Topic : Business

PUNE: With limited international market for white sugar, Indian mills will have to export raw sugar to achieve their target of 3.2 million tonne in 2015-16. Though industry leaders are trying hard to push mills for raw sugar production, exporters find raw sugar exports almost impossible, especially with futures prices ruling at low levels.

The Indian sugar industry wants to make it mandatory for every mill to export a specified quantity of sugar to reduce excess sugar from the country, which in turn was expected to help domestic price rise. However, with substantial rise in domestic prices, the pace of sugar export has slowed down.

Though mills have time till September to fulfill their quota obligations, it is only the white sugar which will be available with them. However, there's only limited international demand for white sugar. "Since there's a limit on white sugar exports, 1.5 to 2 million tonnes of sugar will have to be exported as raw sugar if we have to achieve our targets-,"said Abinash Verma, director general, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).

ET View: Brown Is the New White

Raw sugar, which is brown, needs to be marketed as a better alternative to white sugar. The latter is chemically treated with sulphuric acid, and the various processes involved make it an avoidable processed food item. In sharp contrast, brown (raw) sugar is a natural product. It is certainly a more benign product when it comes to health and the environment. It should be possible to find ready export markets for raw sugar in the higher income, more health-conscious economies. Perhaps better brand-building and positioning will do the job.

Source: The Economic Times
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