Industry desperately awaits decision on upward revision in domestic sugar prices

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Domestic sugar prices have been depressed in the wake of surplus sugar production for sugar season 2019-20 and 2020-21. Millers have been liquid-strapped given the depressed ex-mill prices along with harming the capability of paying cane dues in the given time. As per the latest reports, the cane dues for the ongoing season 2020-21 are around ₹14000 crores and a sum of ₹600-650 crore for the previous seasons in 2018-19 and 2019-20. The sugar industry has been seeking a hike in the MSP of sugar that would help in covering the cost of production, including interest and maintenance costs.

In conversation with ChiniMandi News with Mr. Jeetendra Dharu – Managing Director, Shri Dutt India Pvt. Ltd., running two prominent sugar mills in Maharashtra shared his views on the dire need of announcement in hike on Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of sugar. He said, “Hike on MSP of sugar has been a matter of discussion for over a year with multiple top-level meetings. It has been 2 years since the MSP of sugar was hiked, immediately thereafter the FRP of sugarcane has also been hiked. This decision will not only improve the cash liquidity of sugar millers but also rescue the inventories at mills and will enhance in balancing the demand-supply dynamics across the country. Cane prices jumping rapidly is worrisome and has already been alarming the millers across the state. The comfort for the industry has been the support from the Central Government vis-a-vis the export of sugar and subsidies on the same.”

The trade-front is no different, traders have been feeling the heat of depressed prices, Covid-19 has also pushed the demand on a back seat. Sharing views on the same, Mr. Anil Kapoor – Proprietor – Sat Dev Om Prakash amongst the major sugar trading firms league said, “The current sugar prices are almost ₹80 to 100/Quintal less than what was prevailing a year back during the corresponding period. This doesn’t exhibit a good sign in the value chain. The upward revision would help millers as well as traders in smoothening the trade of sugar enabling better realisations.”

“Covid-19 has had an adverse impact on the sugar industry with consumption plummeting due to the long spell of lockdown. The lockdown not only hit the demand but also created difficulty in transportation to key markets. The hike would comprehensively improve the market conditions.” Kapoor further added.

MSP of revised 2 years back when the Fixed Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane was at ₹275/Quintal. Since the Government has already increased the FRP of sugarcane by ₹10/Quintal for the current year, there was a need to increase the MSP of sugar which has yet pending.

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