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India to consider more sugar exports: minister
NEW DELHI |
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is likely to consider more sugar exports soon as it is set to produce a surplus for a third straight year in the 12 months from October 1, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a producers' body said the country had produced 24.63 million tonnes of sugar between Oct 1 and April 15, up 13.3 percent from the year ago period.
Thomas also said the world's second biggest producer after Brazil could produce at least 25.0-25.5 million tonnes of the sweetener in the next year, against local consumption of around 22 million tonnes.
India has already allowed 3 million tonnes of open general licence (OGL) exports in the 2011/12 season. These quantities have been allowed in a phased manner since October with the latest quantity of 1 million tonnes allowed last month.
"We are not against releasing some more sugar for exports," Thomas told reporters.
A ministers' panel will meet on April 25 to discuss the mechanism for 1 million tonnes permitted under the last round of OGL sales.
The domestic sugar industry is divided on the issue of adopting a new mechanism or continuing with the old method of dividing export quotas among all mills based on their average output over 3 years.
Raw sugar futures prices on ICE were up 1.04 percent at 23.26 cents per lb by 0805 GMT, while domestic sugar futures on India's National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange was up 0.53 percent at 2,840 rupees per 100 kg.
(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)
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