Indian industry officials indicate that Indian sugar mills plan to increase raw sugar production in the new season starting in October, with global sugar prices making overseas sales more lucrative after rising to their highest in the four years.
Indian sugar mills have traditionally produced white sugar for domestic consumption and only a small amount of raw sugar for export. However, a potential supply shortage in the global market until December due to drought and frost in Brazil, a major raw sugar exporter, has prompted Indian sugar mills to plan to increase production of raw sugar for export.
"We plan to produce raw sugar first as it is easier to export than white sugar and the price is attractive and expected to remain firm," said BB Thombare, president of the West Indian Sugar Mills Association.
Because of the year-on-year decline in Brazilian production, India's increased exports could dampen global prices and increase Asian supply. Traders said about 725,000 tonnes of raw sugar and 75,000 tonnes of white sugar will be shipped from November to January next year.
According to Praful Vithalani, president of the All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA), India could export at least 6 million tonnes of sugar in 2021/22 compared with 7.1 million tonnes in the current year.