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MUMBAI, June 20 (Reuters) - Indian sugar futures edged down slightly on Thursday on weak demand from bulk buyers and as ample rains in cane-growing regions weighed on sentiment.
* The key July contract on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange was down 0.10 percent at 3,055 Indian rupees ($52.01)per 100 kg at 1117 GMT.
* “Mills have huge stocks and they are liquidating these before the start of the new season in October. In the short-term, sugar prices are expected to fall by another 10 rupees,” said Mukesh Kuvadia, secretary of the Bombay Sugar Merchants Association.
* India’s monsoon rains have covered the entire country a month ahead of schedule, brightening the prospects for a bumper output of summer-sown crops such as rice, oilseeds and cotton in one of the world’s leading producers.
* Demand for sugar from ice-cream and beverage makers typically rises during the summer, but tapers off with the arrival of the monsoon.
* Spot sugar fell 6 rupees to 3,052 rupees per 100 kg at the Kolhapur market in Maharashtra state.
* Sugar output in top producing Maharashtra state is expected to fall by 25 percent year-on-year to 6 million tonnes in 2013/14 as drought reduced the acreage under the crop.
* India is likely to produce 24.6 million tonnes of sugar in 2012/13, an industry body has said, against an annual demand of about 23 million tonnes.
* Food Minister K.V. Thomas earlier told Reuters in an interview that his ministry held that the import tax on sugar was not be increased until at least September. ($1 = 58.7400 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)