Prices of sugar were steady in most key wholesale markets amid thin trade owing to lack of fresh cues. The medium-grade variety of the sweetener was sold at 3,250 rupees per 100 kg in Mumbai and 3,150 rupees in Kolhapur, both largely unchanged from previous day. In Pune, it was sold at 3,150 rupees, also unchanged. Prices were also steady in Uttar Pradesh and Bengaluru as well. In Delhi, however, prices rose amid speculation that the Union Cabinet might discuss and clear a hike in the minimum selling price for the commodity, which was proven wrong later. Medium-grade sugar was sold at 3,370 rupees per 100 kg in Delhi, up 20 rupees. In Muzaffarnagar, the price was down 10 rupees at 3,320 rupees.
Prices may rise towards the end of this month, as the government capped sales by mills at 1.85 mln tn for this month, lower than the monthly demand of around 2 mln ton. If global prices remain high, exports from India may become economically viable and raise domestic prices. prices of raw and white sugar showed a mixed trend amid range-bound trade in the global market. The benchmark raw sugar contract on ICE Futures US was up a tad at 12.79 cents a pound, posting gains of nearly 7% so far this week, while white sugar prices in London fell slightly, awaiting fresh triggers. So far, Indian mills have signed contracts to export up to 1.5 mln tn of the commodity this season, compared with a target of 5.0 mln ton.
The sugar business had turned unprofitable for a while due to the downturn in the sugar cycle. prices of raw sugar on Intercontinental Exchange had fallen over 20% because high surplus in 2017-18 and forecast of supply remaining plenty in 2018-19 weighed on prices. Indian mills expect sudden spike in global sugar prices to persist due to drought in Brazil, giving India a fair chance to achieve 5 million tonnes of sugar export quota this year. Punjab Govt releases Rs 35 crore to sugar mills to pay sugarcane dues. The Government of Punjab has released Rs 35 crore to the cooperative sugar mills of the state towards the payment for sugarcane dues for the year 2017-18. The same has been credited into the accounts of the sugarcane farmers. The cooperative sugar mills had dues amounting to Rs 182.26 crore pending towards the government as of December 31, 2018, out of which Rs 151.82 crores remain due following the payment of Rs 35 crore.