India exported 7.5 million tonnes of sugar till May 18 in the current marketing year ending September, the food ministry said on Thursday.
Sugar marketing year runs from October to September.
The ministry said in a statement, “Sugar exports during the current sugar season are 15 times higher than those during the 2017-18 sugar season.
The major importers are Indonesia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE, Malaysia and African countries.
In the 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 marketing years, about 6.2 lakh tonnes, 38 lakh tonnes and 59.60 lakh tonnes of sugar were exported respectively.
About 7 million tons of sugar was exported in 2020-21.
“In the last five years, about Rs 14,456 crore has been released on sugar mills to facilitate sugar exports and Rs 2,000 crore has been borne to maintain buffer stocks,” the statement said.
Millers have agreed to export about 9 million tonnes of sugar in 2021-22. Of which 65 lakh tonnes have been exported till 16th May.
This is without announcing any export subsidy.
The ministry said it was encouraging sugar mills to remove excess sugarcane ethanol.
To boost the agricultural economy, reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and save foreign exchange due to crude oil import bills, the government has set a target of 10 per cent blending of fuel grade ethanol with petrol by 2022 and 20 per cent by 2025.
As of 2014, the ethanol distillation capacity of molasses-based distilleries was about 215 crore liters.
The capacity of molasses-based distillery has increased to 569 crore liters in the last eight years.
The capacity of grain-based distilleries has increased from 206 crore liters in 2014 to 298 crore liters.
Thus, in just eight years, the total ethanol production capacity has increased from 421 crore liters to 867 crore liters.
In the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2013-14, the supply of ethanol in OMC was only 380 million liters.
From 2013-14 to 2020-21, the production of fuel grade ethanol and its supply to OMC has increased 8 times.
Ethanol Supply In the year 2020-21 (December-November), about 302.30 crore liters of ethanol were supplied to OMC, resulting in 8.1 per cent mixing level.
In the current ESY 2021-22, as of May 8, 2022, about 186 million liters of ethanol have been blended with gasoline, resulting in 9.90 percent blending.
The statement said, “It is expected that in the current ethanol supply year 2021-22, we will achieve the target of 10 percent blending.”
The government has allowed the production of ethanol from B-heavy molasses, sugarcane juice, sugar syrup and sugar.
During the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 sugar seasons, about 3.37 lakh tonnes, 9.26 lakh tonnes and 22 lakh tonnes of sugar were diverted to ethanol respectively.
In 2021-22, about 3.5 million tons of surplus sugar will be diverted to ethanol.
The statement said, “By 2025, the goal is to remove 6 million tons of excess sugar from ethanol.”
This will solve the problem of high sugar collection and improve the liquidity of the mills.
Since 2014, sugar mills and distilleries have generated over Rs 64,000 crore in revenue from ethanol sales at OMC which has helped farmers pay their arrears on time.
In 2020-21, mills bought sugarcane worth Rs 93,000 crore.
In 2021-22, sugar mills are expected to buy sugarcane worth Rs 1.10 lakh crore.
Out of the total cane arrears of Rs. 1,06,849 crore payable for the current sugar season 2021-22, about Rs.
The ex-mill price of sugar is also stable now and is between Rs 32-35 per kg.
The average retail price of sugar in the country is around Rs 41.50 per kg and in the coming months it may be between Rs 40-43 per kg.