India has decided to restrict the sale of sugar on international markets, just days after it banned wheat exports.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Indian government said it will limit sugar exports to 10 million tons for the marketing season that runs through September to keep prices in check.
Sellers have also been asked to seek “specific permission” from authorities for any export of sugar between June 1 and October 31.
India is the world’s biggest producer of sugar and the second largest exporter behind Brazil.
The government of Narendra Modi said it needed to take action to maintain sugar stocks in the country after “unprecedented growth in exports” last year and in the current season.
The move to limit exports comes at a time when annual retail inflation in Asia’s third largest economy hit 7.8%, its highest level in nearly eight years, in April.
It is also another sign of rising food protectionism around the world, as major producers curb agricultural exports, adding to the supply shock triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Ukraine and Russia together account for about 30% of all wheat exports.
In the current marketing year, which runs from October 2021 to September 2022, Indian sugar mills have so far signed contracts for exports of about 9 million tons.
In the previous 12-month period, the country shipped 7 million tons of the sweetener overseas, which was the highest amount in recent years, according to government data.
White sugar futures were trading 1% higher at $556.50 per metric ton on Wednesday in London. They’ve gained 13% since the start of January and are about 26% higher than this time last year.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES