Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

India allows more domestic sales of sugar in January

The Indian government has asked millers to sell 9 percent more sugar in the domestic market in January than this month to ensure adequate supply, a government statement said.

The government controls distribution of sugar in the local market to check prices, allocating fixed quantities that can be sold by producers every month in the market.

It has allocated 1.2 million tonnes of sugar to producers to sell in January, up from 1.1 million tonnes this month, the statement said, adding that mills can release a total of 3.4 million tonnes in the January-March period.

The government is keen to keep local prices under control following a drop in sugarcane production in the country after inadequate rains in some growing areas.

India's sugar output is expected to fall to 12 million tonnes in the year to September 2005 from 13.8 million a year earlier. Prices have jumped more than 35 percent in one year to about 17,250 rupees ($396) a tonne, traders said.