India?s sugar exports

India’s sugar exports

News: By pivoting to raw sugar exports, India has gone from being a marginal player five years ago to No. 2 in the world currently, behind only Brazil. Specific advantages of Indian raw sugar have helped Indian exports.

Important Data:
 Between 2017-18 and 2021-22, sugar exports have soared from $810.9 million to $4.6 billion, and could cross $5.5 billion — or Rs 45,000 crore — in the fiscal year ending March 31.
 Raw sugar is rough and brownish in colour, with an ICUMSA value of 600-1,200 or higher. ICUMSA, short for the International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis, is a measure of the purity of sugar based on colour. The lower the value, the more the whiteness.
 Refined White sugar - Raw sugar after being processed in refineries for the removal of impurities and de-colourisation.
 Till 2017-18, India hardly exported any rawsugar. It mainly shipped plantation white sugar with 100-150 ICUMSA value. This was referred to as low-quality whites or LQW in international markets.

Advantages of Indian Raw Sugar:
 India’s crushing season is from October to April, whereas Brazilian mills operate from April to November. Hence, importers are utilising Indian raw sugar during Brazil’s off-season.
 India is much closer to its major sugar importers (compared to Brazil) and therefore less freight cost.
 Indian sugar is free of dextran. Dextran is a bacterial compound formed when sugarcane stays in the sun for too long after harvesting.
 India’s sugar has high percentage of Sucrose content.

What are government policies for Sugar?
 Fair and remunerative price (FRP) - The FRP is the minimum price that sugar mills have to pay to sugarcane farmers for the procurement of sugarcane.
 Although the Central government decides the FRP the state governments can also set a State Advised price that a sugar mill has to pay to the farmers.
 Encouraging Ethanol Production to be used in Ethanol Blending with Petrol (EBP) Programme.
 Scheme for Extending Financial Assistance to Sugar Undertakings.

What is end result of Sugar exports?
 Out of India’s total 110 lt sugar exports in 2021-22, raws alone accounted for 56.29 lt.
 The biggest importers of Indian raw sugar were Indonesia (16.73 lt), Bangladesh (12.10 lt), Saudi Arabia (6.83 lt), Iraq (4.78 lt) and Malaysia (4.15 lt).
 From being a marginal exporter until five years ago, India has become the world’s No. 2, with its shipments of 110.58 lt in 2021-22 (according to the International Sugar Organization) next only to Brazil (255.40 lt). 

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