INDIA: Government boosts sugar release by 290,000 tonnes
Published: 07/25/2012, 7:54:11 AM
The government on Tuesday decided to release 290,000 tonnes more sugar in the open market to control the sweetener's price that has risen by INR3 (US$0.05) a kg in a fortnight, according to the Press Trust of India.
"Sugar prices are rising. We are taking steps to control the price and we have decided to allocate 290,000 tonnes of sugar in the open market for the July-September quarter," Food Minister K.V. Thomas told reporters.
Pointing out that sugar rates have risen by INR5 to INR38 a kg in the last one year, he said government will release more quantity of sugar, if need arises, to control the prices.
Sugar prices were ruling at INR34-35 a kg in the national capital a fortnight ago and now have touched INR37-38 a kg.
Thomas said this 290,000 tonnes of sugar was meant for supply through ration shops during 2008/09 and 2009/10 fiscal but the Food Ministry did not lift that quantity from mills.
Now, mills have been asked to sell this quantity in the open market during this quarter. An order in this regard will be issued soon, he added.
With this additional allocation of nearly 300,000 tonnes, the total sugar availability in the current quarter would be 5 million tonnes.
The Food Ministry had allocated 4.5 million tonnes of sugar for sale in the open market in the current quarter. That apart, mills were given permission to sell 200,000 tonnes of sugar that was unsold in the last quarter, Thomas said.
"All together, around 500,000 tonnes of additional sugar has been allocated over and above 4.5 million tonnes for the current quarter," the minister said.
The country's sugar production is estimated at 26 million tonnes in 2011/12 marketing year (October-September), against the annual demand of 22 million tonnes.