India is unlikely to export sugar in 2023-24 season as output will be less than a year earlier, Kona Haque, head of research at ED&F Man Commodities said.
Haque's comments come nearly a month after government sources told Reuters that India is expected to ban mills from exporting sugar in the next season beginning October, halting shipments for the first time in seven years after lack of rain cut cane yields.
India's absence from the world market would be likely to increase benchmark prices in New York SBc1 and London LSUc1 that are already trading around multi-year highs, triggering fears of further inflation on global food markets.
"India’s sugar production in the next season will be smaller than last year. And India is unlikely to export next year," she said on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi.
Indian Sugar Exports
India allowed mills to export only 6.1 million tonnes of sugar during the current season to 30 September, nearly half of the record 11.1 million tonnes sold last season.
The country is likely to receive an average amount of rainfall in September, after the driest August in more than a century. Although September rains would help the sugarcane crop, yields would be lower due to lower rainfall in August.
Patchy rains would cut sugar output in the 2023/24 season and even reduce planting for the 2024/25 season, an industry official, who declined to be named, told Reuters last month.
Haque said there were "worries" about India’s sugar output during the 2024-25 season as well.
Elsewhere, French sugar maker Cristal Union said French farmers should consider turning back to sugar beet in 2024 after a drop in planted area in recent years, citing good weather conditions and a favourable economy as sugar prices soar.