India will be able to keep exporting sugar without government subsidies if global prices stay close to current levels, according to Somit Banerjee, head of trading at Dubai-based refiner Al Khaleej Sugar Co.
The country’s sugar cane production could be slightly higher in the next season as farmers are encouraged to boost planting on the back of higher exports and diversion to ethanol, Banerjee said in an interview at the Globoil International conference in Dubai. While India’s consumption may also increase, it’s likely to have some surplus to export in 2022-23, he said.
“It’s a happy situation for India at the moment,” Banerjee said. “It has become a structural exporter and will keep exporting any surplus without subsidies if global prices are close to 19 cents.”
Benchmark sugar futures are at about 18.69 cents a pound. India, the world’s second-biggest producer and top consumer, is poised to ship a record 9 million tons in the year ending Sept. 30, the Indian Sugar Mills Association estimates.