Sugar Export Ban: Govt Extends Restriction By 1 Year Till October 2023

The government has extended restrictions on sugar exports till October 31 next year in order to raise its availability in the domestic market and control prices, according to an official notification. The export ban was originally imposed till October 31 this year. The government has been taking several steps to lower commodity prices in India amid rising inflation.

“Restriction on export of sugar (raw, refined, and white sugar) is extended beyond October 31, 2022 till October 31, 2023, or until further orders, whichever is earlier. Other conditions will remain unchanged,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification dated October 28.

India has been the highest producer and the second-largest exporter of sugar in the world in the current year.

However, these restrictions will not be applicable to sugar being exported to the EU and the US under CXL and TRQ duty concession quotas, the notification said. A specified amount of sugar is exported to these regions under CXL and TRQ (tariff rate quota).

Earlier, in May, the government had announced to impose restrictions on sugar exports, effective June 1, 2022. The Centre had said it has been decided to regulate sugar exports with effect from June 1, with a view to maintaining domestic availability and price stability of the sweetener in the country during sugar season 2021-22 (October-September).

The decision came against the backdrop of record exports of sugar. In sugar seasons 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, only about 6.2 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), 38 LMT and 59.60 LMT of sugar was exported. However, in the sugar season 2020-21, against a target of 60 LMT, about 70 LMT have been exported. The government has expressed its concerns regarding this and said that the move to restrict sugar export was aimed at safeguarding the interests of consumers and keep the prices in check.

Before the sugar ban, the government also put curbs on the exports of wheat. It came against the backdrop of a price rise in India due to global supply disruptions amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

In August also, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved the proposal to amend the policy of exemption for wheat or meslin flour. The move will now allow putting restrictions on the export of wheat flour, which will ensure a curb on rising prices of wheat flour in the country.

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