India’s Sugar Dilemma: Rising Prices, Export Concerns, and Festive Season Demand

The country’s annual consumption of the sweetener is about 27 million tonne. Sugar prices rose to a six-year high, amid concerns over a deficient monsoon, but the government has maintained that there are sufficient stocks to meet demand during a festive season beginning next month, when demand soars. If India ends up with a smaller crop due to scanty rainfall in key producer states, such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, the government may ban export of the sweetener in the new season beginning October 1.

Wholesale sugar prices touched ₹37,750 a tonnes, an increase of about 2.9% in a fortnight, highest since 2017. In the current season, India had limited sugar export to 6.1 million tonne, against 11.1 million tonne exported in the previous said.

In fact, sugarcane sowing in India as of 1st Sep is 59.9 Lakh hectares, up by 8% from 55.6 Lakh hectares during same time last year.

“The country currently has 10.8 million tonnes of sugar. This quantity is sufficient to meet current demand and demand during the festive season. The present availability is higher than needed,” said Union food secretary Sanjeev Chopra.