Indonesia likely to be India’s largest sugar importer this year

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Indonesia may make up for the drop in India’s sugar export to Iran by emerging the largest sugar importer this season.

Rahil Shaikh, MEIR Commodities India Management Director said, “The Indonesia will compensate for the reduction in sugar import by Iran as Jakarta will be importing over 10 lakh tonnes of sugar from India as against 3 lakh tonnes last season.”

Abinash Varma, director-general, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), said, “Indonesia can import 20 lakh tonnes of sugar from India which would be more than Iran’s 14 lakh tonnes import last season.”

Out of 57 lakh tonnes sugar exported by India during 2019-20, Iran had imported 14 lakh tonnes sugar.

As per the sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran, it cannot use US dollars for selling crude oil. The restrictions have been imposed due to Tehran’s nuclear programme.

India used to buy crude oil from Iran and the payment for the same was put in the accounts of Iranian Banks with UCO Bank. Tehran has used it to procure rice tea, sugar and drugs.

Owing to US pressure, India has stopped buying crude oil from Iran since May 2019.

“Apart from these issues, India has a bright chance to increase export to Indonesia due to lower sugar output in Thailand, the largest sugar exporter to Indonesia. Thailand accounts 80-85% of total sugar import of Jakarta,” said Varma.

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