Indonesia eyes possibility of importing raw sugar from India

Indonesia eyes possibility of importing raw sugar from India

Indonesia, the world's second-largest sugar importer, is exploring the possibility of buying raw sugar from India, where a bumper cane crop has raised fears of a glut of the sweetener. 

India, too, is keen to export a bigger quantity, preferably through barter trade, according to industry executives. A delegation from Indonesian Sugar Association met representatives of the Indian sugar industry in New Delhi recently. "As India will have excess sugar production next year, Indonesian industry is keen to import sugar from India," said Prakash Naiknavare, managing director of National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories. 

"For India, 2018-19 will be the year of highest-ever sugarcane and sugar availability. The ratoon crop that will be harvested in 2018-19 is growing very well in Maharashtra, Karnataka, etc," said Naiknavare. Meanwhile, the Indian sugar industry has already started brainstorming over various policy measures that would be required to manage the excess production, and exports is one of the measures being considered. 

"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," said Naiknavare. GSC Rao, the managing director of Global Canesugar Services, 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% export duty on sugar. It is also concerned over recent  reports that 2,000 tons of sugar have landed in the country from Pakistan via the land route. Indonesia being closer 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% for Indonesia. 

By BOA Bureau