NEW DELHI, Aug 22: The Centre has allocated an additional quota of 2 lakh tonnes of sugar for sale during this month, over and above 23.5 lakh tonnes already allotted to mills, as part of its efforts to boost domestic supply and keep prices under check in the festive season.
“Keeping in view the strong demand for sugar for upcoming festivals of Onam, Raksha Bandhan, and Krishna Janmashtami, an additional quota of 2 lakh tonnes (over and above 23.5 LMT already allocated for the month of August 2023) is being allocated for the month of August 2023,” an official statement said.
The additional sugar in the domestic market will ensure reasonable prices all over the country, it added.
Despite a 25 per cent increase in international sugar prices in the last year, the food ministry said that the average retail price of sugar in the country is about Rs 43.30 per kilogram and is likely to remain in range bound only. There has been less than 2 per cent annual inflation in the country in sugar prices in the last 10 years.
During the current sugar marketing year (October-September) 2022-23, India is estimated to have produced 330 lakh tonnes of sugar after a diversion of about 43 lakh tonnes for ethanol production. Domestic consumption is expected to be around 275 lakh tonnes.
“At the present stage, India has sufficient sugar stock to meet its domestic demand for the remaining months of the current 2022-23 season and optimum closing stock of 60 lakh tonnes (sufficient to meet sugar consumption for two-and-a-half months) will be available at the end of this season i.e. September 30, 2023,” the statement said.
The recent increase in sugar prices will cool down soon as each year during July-September, just before the next season, prices increase and then come down on the start of cane crushing.
“Thus, the price rise in sugar is very nominal and for a short duration,” the ministry said. (PTI)