Sugar industry upbeat on exports

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The Indian sugar industry is upbeat on exports despite a drop in global prices of the commodity, mainly because of the two key decisions taken in mid-February. One, the Centre allowed swapping of sugar releases for the domestic market with the export market. As a result, Maharashtra sugar mills gave their domestic market release quota to Uttar Pradesh mills. In turn, the Uttar Pradesh mills gave their export market release quota to their western counterparts. It facilitated at least 0.7 million tonnes (mt) of more sugar for export and also helped Indian sugar millers to cash in on the higher prices in the global market. The second policy of the Centre that helped the sugar industry was permitting raw and white sugar exports to refineries special economic zones (SEZs). ISMA said the decision allowing supply to SEZs and considering them as export was also covered by the scheme to assist sugar mills. As a result, exports are expected to top 5.5-6 mt against initial estimates of 5 mt, said a report.