Sugar mills have exported 2.49 million tonnes of the sweetener so far in the ongoing 2020-21 marketing year ending September, with maximum shipments to Indonesia, trade body AISTA said on Monday.
Mills have contracted to export 3.33 million tonnes of sugar so far as against the 6 million tonnes quota assigned by the food ministry, All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said in a statement.
With five months still left for the 2020-21 marketing year to end, the association feels the mills have the potential to fulfil their export commitments.
The sugar marketing year runs from October to September.
According to AISTA, mills have exported a total of 2.49 million tonne of sugar from January 1 till April 9, 2021.
An additional 3,03,450 tonne of sugar is in transit and delivered to port-based refineries.
"We are well on track to complete the 6 million tonne export target this year. Indonesia, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were top three buyers," AISTA Vice-Chairman Rahil Shaikh told PTI.
Last year, Iran was the top export destination for Indian sugar. This year, exports to Iran did not take place due to currency issues, he said.
"Indonesia for the first time matched its quality specifications with India, which allowed Indonesian traders to start buying sugar from India. Also, Brazil had off-season during December-March of this marketing year, which gave us an opportunity to tap Indonesia more," Shaikh noted.
Otherwise, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are regular sugar buyers, while a new entrant this year has been the UAE, he said.
Of the total exports undertaken so far, AISTA said mills exported 9,61,594 tonne of sugar to Indonesia, 3,08,302 tonne to Afghanistan and 2,46,391 tonne to Sri Lanka till April 9, 2021.
Asked if the export target will be met this year, Shaikh said, "We expect total physical exports to reach 5.5 million tonne this year. About 0.5 million tonne could roll over to the next marketing year because of monsoon and lockdown related issues, although there is the demand to cater to the entire 6 million tonne".
The slowdown in exports could be due to weather anomalies during the June-September quarter and logistic difficulties following the pandemic, he added.
AISTA, which completes five years this month, said it will soon revise upward domestic sugar production estimates to 35 million tonne for the 2020-21 marketing year from earlier projections of 29.9 million tonne. Consumption will be pegged at 25.5 million tonne.
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