India will consider re-imposition duty on sugar imports after conclusion of the current parliament session on 7 May, to check a sharp fall in domestic prices, according to a report in Tthe Financial Express today.
India is the world's top sugar consumer and the biggest producer after Brazil. Production of sugar in the country has fallen by a third since early this year even as it picked up in major producing states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The paper quoted Sharad Pawar, agriculture minister as saying that the government would review sugar production and imposing duty on sugar import after the conclusion of the parliament session.
The industry had last month demanded imposition of duty on sugar imports with sliding prices hitting profit margins.
Analysts say the government could levy an import tax on sugar before the commencement of the 2010-11 season in October as a protective measure for farmers and millers against a surge of foreign supplies on crashing global prices and the rupee hovering at a 19-month high.
Meanwhile, certain developments in the sugar trade, according to analysts, remain intriguing. They point out that London sugar prices plunged from a high of $767 to $500 in less than 45 days. Initial estimates of demand for imports of around 7 MT from India in 2009-10 and then its downward revision by 3.5 per cent have come as a surprise to both international as well as domestic players.