Nod to export of 2,095 tons more of sugar to US

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) The Indian government on Wednesday allowed export of an additional 2,095 tons of raw sugar to the US under the tariff rate quota (TRQ), under which low tariffs are permitted to shipments.

“Additional quantity of 2,095 MTs (metric tons) of raw cane sugar to be exported to the US under TRQ up to September 30 has been notified,” the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) here said in a notice.

TRQ quotas allow a quantum of sugar exports to the EU and US markets at low tariffs.

Earlier, 8,424 tonnes of raw sugar had been notified for export to the US under TRQ.

In April, the commerce ministry liberalised the sales of preferential quota sugar to the European Union (CXL quota) and the US (TRQ quota), thus allowing all exporters and not just state trading enterprises (STEs) avail of the quota benefits.

This relaxation, however, is subject to a quantitative ceiling that will be periodically reviewed by the DGFT.

“The change in the policy of the preferential sugar quota will enable all sugar industries in the country to export sugar subject to a minimal requirement of registration from APEDA(Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) or DGFT,” the ministry said in a statement here.

The quota for the EU is currently 10,000 tons.

India’s sugar production is estimated to cross 28 million tonnes in the 2014-15 season (October-September), against 24.3 million tonnes last year.

The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) had earlier this year expressed concern over the growing amount of surplus sugar, noting the current season started with a surplus of almost 15 lakh tons (75 lakh tons opening balance), and the total at the end of this season will be 30 lakh tons.

Additionally, arrears of cane payments have also risen to record levels in the current season, crossing Rs.15,000 crore in February 2015 as against Rs.13,274 crore at the end of March 2014.

The problem was compounded by adding that banks refusing to extend further working capital loans, “as they fear that the mills will not be able to repay loans on time”, it said.

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