Demand-supply gap may lead to price rise of sugar: Pawar
The Dollar Business Bureau
The prices of sugar are likely to remain under pressure due to the estimated gap of supply of about 3.5-4 million tonnes in the marketing year starting October, said Sharad Pawar, former Agriculture Minister.
The Nationalist Congress Party supremo, Pawar, also asked the industry to brace up for government’s action, including likely import of raw sugar to meet the demands of domestic consumers and keep the prices in check.
Pawar, while addressing the 74th annual convention of Sugar Technologists Association of India, stated that the gap in demand and supply may keep the prices under pressure. While sugar production this year was good, a similar situation is not visible for the marketing year 2016-2017, he added. Currently, the prices of sugar are ruling at Rs 34-38/kg.
He further stated that the gap in demand and supply will surely impact the prices and government will take measures for it, so the industry should brace up.
To curb the increasing price of sugar, recently the government imposed 20% export duty on sugar.
Showing concern over low sugar cane productivity and the recurrent nature of the crop, Pawar suggested the government to take steps to promote the use of modern technology to keep biotic and abiotic stress at bay.
He also revealed that a transgenic sugarcane plant was developed by a Pune based institute. The government should approve field trial of the transgenic sugarcane plant in restricted areas under guidance of agriculture universities.
Pawar further asked sugar mills to be serious about the ethanol blending programme and ensure adequate supply to oil marketing companies (OMCs).