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BW Businessworld

India To Consider Incentives For Raw Sugar Production

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India will consider providing incentives for production of raw sugar up to 4 million tonnes for exports in the next cabinet meeting, Food Minister K. V. Thomas said, as part of efforts by the world's second-biggest producer to stop adding to massive mounds of the refined grade which are piling up because of low prices.

The export incentives would be World Trade Organisation (WTO)-compatible and applicable for the crop produced in this and the next season, Thomas said on Thursday (16 January).

A group ministers under the chairmanship of Farm Minister Sharad Pawar on Thursday revived the proposal to be placed before the cabinet, but haven't decided about the quantum of incentives yet, Thomas said.

Indian mills traditionally produce white sugar but a global glut has made exports difficult. A rise in sugar refining capacity in Asia and Africa has now given an opportunity to export raws.

Exports of raws from India, the world's biggest consumer of sugar, will eat into the share of top suppliers Brazil and Thailand. Extra supplies could also put further pressure on benchmark prices in New York, which are hovering around a 3-1/2-year low in an over-supplied world market.