With the ease-of-doing business in the country and smooth trade relations that India has with the global countries, Indonesia, the world’s second-largest sugar importer seeks to buy raw sugar from India, where a bumper cane crop has raised fears of surplus of the sweetener. India is also keen to export a bigger quantity, preferably through barter trade.
A delegation from Indonesian Sugar Association met representatives of the Indian sugar industry in New Delhi recently. Managing Director of National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories, Prakash Naiknavare said “As India will have excess sugar production next year, Indonesian industry is keen to import sugar from India. 2018-19 will be the year of highest-ever sugarcane and sugar availability for India. The ratoon crop that will be harvested in 2018-19 is growing very well in Maharashtra, Karnataka, etc.”
Meanwhile, the Indian sugar industry has already started creating strategic moves over various policy measures that would be required to manage the excess production, and exports is one of the measures being considered. Naiknavare added “As India imports most of its edible oil from Indonesia, the industry is keen to do barter trade of the sweetener in exchange for oil. We are exploring the possibility of barter trade with Indonesia.”
Managing Director of Global Canesugar Services, GSC Rao said “As quality of Indian raw sugar is best in the world in terms of many technical parameters, we can export substantial quantities.”
The domestic sugar industry has already demanded removal of the 20 per cent export duty on sugar. It is also concerned over recent reports that 2,000 tonnes of sugar have landed in the country from Pakistan via the land route.
Indonesia being close in distance to India as compared with Brazil, is expected to reduce cost of imports for the country. According to the International Sugar Organisation (ISO), cost of importing raw sugar has increased by 2 per cent for Indonesia.