Traders and stockists have urged the government to increase the import duty on sugar by 10 percentage points to protect domestic industry from Pakistani shipment. The government there had, on Thursday, announced an incentive for export at 10 per cent or Pak Rs 10.7 a kg of up to 1.5 million tonnes.
This works out to Rs 10,700 ($101.9) a tonne.This comes when the price of sugar in India has been falling since the start of the current cane crushing season, from October 1. “With the heavy export subsidy, export of sugar from Pakistan becomes viable. The government (should) consider raising the import duty from 50 per cent (at present) to 60 per cent,” said S P Bhagria, chief executive officer, All India Sugar Trade Association. “Such a decision will be in the interest of all stakeholders, viz farmers, the industry, traders and consumers.” Pakistan produces mainly white plantation sugar; its global price is around $370 a tonne. Prices in India are down 10 per cent since October to Rs 3,300 a quintal in Maharashtra for the M-30 variety; the industry says the cost of production is Rs 3,700 a qtl. With around four million tonnes of carryover stock and an estimated 25.1 mt of production this year, total supply is estimated at 29.1 mt. Substantially higher than the country’s annual consumption of 23.5 mt.