NEW DELHI India has decided to revoke an order that requires sugar mills to export excess supplies, two government officials said on Thursday, after two consecutive droughts look set to turn the country into a net importer next season.
The government has scrapped the order in view of tightening supplies in the local market, said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been formally announced yet.
Late last year the government asked mills to export as much as 3.2 million tonnes to deal with what was then a glut that undermined prices and put mills under financial pressure.
Out of the 3.2 million-tonne export target mills had sold around 1.5 million tonnes onto world markets.
To support the scheme and relieve that pressure, New Delhi agreed to pay farmers 45 rupees for every tonne of sugar cane they produced, representing about 2 percent of the costs incurred by mills.
Farmers will no longer get payment after the compulsory export order is revoked, said another official.
Without the production subsidy Indian mills are expected to struggle to export profitably, potentially boosting global sugar prices and allowing rival suppliers like Brazil, Thailand and Pakistan to increase their shipments.
Reuters reported earlier this month that India was considering whether to scrap the compulsory export order.
(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Writing by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
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Updated Date: May 19, 2016 21:48 PM