India may levy 25% customs duty on sugar exports

India may impose a 25% duty on exports of sugar to maintain local supply.

The Dollar Business Bureau

In order to ensure enough supply of sugar in the local market, the government may impose a 25 percent customs duty on export of the sweetener.

“There is a rising trend in the sugar prices in the global market. To make profits, traders may enhance the sugar exports. To keep a check on this, it is proposed to impose a 25 percent duty. This will keeps sufficient supply of sugar and the prices will also be under control,” said Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Food & Public Distribution, in a tweet on Thursday. 

The overall production of sugar in India is likely to drop in 2016, mainly due to drought in major sugar-growing states including Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Since April, sugar prices in the domestic retail markets have increased by Rs.4-7 per kg, due to a shortfall in production in some parts of India.

Brazil is the world’s largest sugar producer and a big competitor of India in the international market. In the last six months, global prices have increased by around 53 percent due to delayed harvest of the Brazilian crop.

The rise in international prices of sugar had made exports from India viable in spite of the removal of incentive by the government a few months ago.

Sugar output in India, the world's second-largest producer, is estimated to be around 24 million tonnes in 2016-17.

India’s total export stood at $1.40 billion in 2015, compared to $1.30 billion in 2014. Its top five international markets were Sudan, Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka and UAE.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jun 10, 2016 12:00 IST