By Mayank Bhardwaj
NEW DELHI, Sept 29 India is likely to import 2
million tonnes of sugar during the 2016/17 marketing year as the
country's consumption is likely to outpace production for the
first time in seven years, an analyst at Rabobank Singapore said
India's sugar output could fall to 23.3 million tonnes in
2016/17 marketing year starting Oct. 1, Kelvin Chow told the
Kingsman Asia Sugar Conference in New Delhi, as back-to-back
droughts ravaged cane crops in the top producing Maharashtra
Chow's estimate is double the sugar import forecast provided
by a sugar trader at Louis Dreyfus Commodities on Wednesday at
the same conference.
Imports by India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, could
further support global prices trading near four-year
highs due to an expected shortfall in supplies.
The country's demand in the new season is estimated at 25.6
million tonnes, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said on
Lower production in India will help widen the global raw
sugar deficit to 7.5 million tonnes in 2016/17, up from 6.7
million tonnes a year ago, Chow said.
China's raw sugar output in 2016/17 is likely to rise 8.1
percent from a year ago to 9.3 million tonnes, Chow said, adding
that it could release 1.8 million tonnes of sugar from its state
reserves of 6.5 million tonnes.
China could import 3.6 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17,
slightly higher from 3.5 million tonnes a year ago as
consumption in the year is expected to rise 6 percent to 15.8
million tonnes, he said.
(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Writing by Rajendra Jadhav;
Editing by Malini Menon and Christian Schmollinger)