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India Caps Sugar Exports to Control Rising Domestic Prices

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India said it will restrict sugar exports to safeguard against further price increases at home. The move comes just over a week after the government put a halt to most wheat exports to control rising domestic prices. 

The restrictions will limit sugar exports to 10 million tonnes for the current marketing year, which ends in September. India’s sugar exports accelerated earlier this year, hitting 4.9 million tonnes in the October-February period, nearly double year-earlier levels, following the country’s biggest-ever crop. By contrast, top producer Brazil’s harvest fell by double-digits, and Thailand’s latest crop, while improved, followed two consecutive years of low production. 

India is the largest sugar consumer in the world, and maintaining adequate supplies — the country holds about one-third of global sugar stocks — and keeping prices in check are high priorities. Indian domestic sugar prices have risen 3% since January. Global sugar prices have gained even more — ICE sugar futures are up 7.5% year to date and are up 24% from a year ago. 

In April, the Indian Meteorological Department released its first long-range forecast for the 2022 southwest monsoonal season (June-September), forecasting normal rainfall. The sugar industry is hopeful of another bumper harvest next season.

Depending upon the variety and sowing time it takes about 12 to 18 months for sugarcane to mature. Generally, January to March is the period of sowing and December to March is the period of harvesting. After harvest, a ratoon crop is cultivated from the regrowth. 

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