Government pegs sugar output in 2012-13 at 23 mt
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India's sugar production will be at least 23 million tonne (mt) in the 2012-13 marketing year, that started this month, as against 26 mt in the previous year, food minister KV Thomas said on Wednesday.
The government would not restrict export despite fall in production as the country would have sufficient stocks to meet domestic demand of about 22 million tonne.
The production of sugar in Maharashtra is expected to be lower but better in Uttar Pradesh, he added.
Sugar production is estimated to fall because of expected fall in sugarcane output on account of deficient and delayed monsoon in some states including Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The sugarcane commissioner's estimate is lower than the industry forecast of 24 million tonnes in 2012-13.
Last week, Thomas had said that sugar production will be 25 mt in this marketing year as per the assessment made by the agriculture and food ministries.
''With carryover stock of 6 mt, the country will have sufficient supply to meet the domestic demand,'' he said.
On exports, he said, ''sugar export is under OGL and it will continue. Currently, no export is taking place and why should we worry.'' Asked if government intends to hike import duty on raw sugar, he said, ''some mills are demanding increase in import duty, while some for reduction. But we are silent and not yet taken any decision.''
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