Monday, November 29, 1999

Govt allows 10,000 tn sugar export to EU

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New Delhi, June 16 (PTI) With production outlook improving and prices stabilising, the government has allowed export of 10,000 tonnes of refined sugar to the European Union (EU) despite restrictions. The relaxation has been given by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and the exports will be undertaken by trading firm Indian Sugar Exim Corporation during 2009-10 season ending September. In February, the government was forced to withdraw its decision to permit exports to EU due to strong objection from the opposition parties as sugar was selling at about Rs 50/kg. Though sugar prices have dropped significantly to Rs 32 a kg, the exports to EU would be matched by equivalent quantity of imports from anywhere in the world to ensure that domestic supply is not disturbed. India enjoys duty-free exports to EU up to a fixed quantity under a ''preferential quota'' arrangement. Even though the country had faced shortages, the government wanted to ensure that the EU preference is not taken away if no sugar was despatched. Although officially there in no ban on export of sugar, the Food Ministry is not granting release order for exports since January 2009. The sugar production is estimated at nearly 19 million tonnes in 2009-10 season against the earlier forecast of 16 million tonnes. The country has imported over six million tonnes of raw and refined sugar since February last year to meet domestic demand, which stands at 23 million tonnes annually.

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