MUMBAI, July 16 (Reuters) - Indian sugar futures jumped 2 percent on Monday to hit a contract high as demand in the spot market improved on lower quota for the September quarter and on concerns over production due to poor rainfall.
* The key August contract on India’s National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange was up 1.66 percent at 3,254 rupees ($58.95) per 100 kg at 0923 GMT, after hitting a high of 3,269 rupees earlier in the day.
* “Sentiment is firm due to the weak rainfall. Traders and stockists are buying aggressively. Even the quota for the September quarter is lower than expected,” said Mukesh Kuvadia, secretary of the Bombay Sugar Merchants Association.
* India has allowed millers to sell 4.5 million tonnes of sugar from July to September in the open market, unchanged from the previous quarter. Usually, the government increases the quota for festivals.
* Non-levy, or free-sale sugar, is sold by millers in the open market, but the quantity each mill can sell is fixed by the federal government on a quarterly basis to control sharp price swings and ensure adequate supply.
* Almost all key sugar producing regions in the country have received more than 27 percent lower rains than normal since the beginning of the monsoon season on June 1.
* In the Kolhapur spot market in top producing Maharashtra state, sugar surged by 103 rupees to 3,233 rupees per 100 kg.
* Late monsoon rains over the two main cane-growing areas in India may reduce the 2012/13 output by some 19 percent, but the overall crop is likely to see a surplus due to increased output from another region, officials said.
* India, the world’s top sugar producer after Brazil, is expected to produce 26 million tonnes in the 12 months from Oct. 1, 2011 - about 4 million tonnes higher than its annual demand. Around 3 million tonnes of exports have already been approved.
$1 = 55.2 Indian rupees Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee