India’s sugar millers have contacted Chinese delegation that is interested in importing sugar from the country. They are seeking to export at least 20 lakh tonne of raw sugar to China.
“We expect to get long term access to the Chinese sugar market, while in the current year, we hope to export 20 lakh tonne sugar to China. The Chinese delegation visited some sugar mills from Uttar Pradesh on Monday and they will be in Maharashtra on December 12,” said Dilip Walse Patil, President of National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF).
Indian Sugar Mills Association (Isma) has signed a contract with China’s COFCO for exporting 15,000 tonne of raw sugar.
Maharashtra’s sugar millers are hoping to export at least 5 lakh tonne sugar.
“The Chinese delegation is slated to visit Rajaram Bapur Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana at Islampur and a meeting has been slated thereafter with the millers from the state. Maharashtra has received an export quota of 15.54 lakh tonne and initially we expect to sign deals for 5 lakh tonne. The millers are open for more,” Sanjay Khatal, MD, Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories said.
India has asked China to consider releasing its raw sugar export quota for the New Year earlier than January 2019. This is because the domestic sugar mills in India would, by then, begin making white sugar and switching over to raw sugar will be difficult.
According to market reports, Beijing may release its sugar quota for the January-June period sometime in the middle of January. And Indian exporters of sugar say that since the crushing starts a month earlier, it would help them in planning better if the quotas are released early December.
Chinese officials, headed by Vice-Minister Hu Wei, met senior officials from Indian commerce & industry ministry and agriculture ministry earlier last week to discuss ways to increase imports from India.
According to the National Federation of Co-Operative Sugar Factories, China could emerge as a major consumer for Indian sugar.
India has contracted to supply about 8 lakh tonne of sugar to countries in West Asia and Sri Lanka. Out of the total contracted quantity, raw sugar comprises 6,00,000 tonne and the rest 2,00,000 tonne is white sugar.