Out of the initial Indian export quota of 6 MMT of sugar for 2022/23, between 5.3 and 5.5 MMT had already been sold at the end of December 2022, per Hindu Business Line.

In 2021/22, India exported 11.2 MMT of sugar, and expectations are that the government will expand the quota by at least 2 MMT—hence our current export forecast of 8 MMT for 2022/23. In a December address, ISMA’s president noted that the group is “confident” that the export quota will be expanded. (The speech also included a plea for changes on the cane pricing system.)

Without an expanded quota, India could add 2 MMT or more to its ending stocks. ISMA’s initial forecast pegged all 2022/23 sugar production potential at a record 41.0 MMT, with hectarage up across all major producing regions. With the diversion of the equivalent of 4.5 MMT of sugar to ethanol manufacturing, sugar production was estimated at 35.8 MMT, in line with our December estimate.

Just as Brazil has expanded from cane to corn ethanol production, India is looking to expand its corn ethanol capacity. Per the Times of India, the government plans to set up multiple plants under its KRIBHCO cooperative that will manufacture ethanol and feed from corn. Questions remain as to how much corn can be diverted to ethanol manufacturing, though corn exports have been above 33 MMT in recent years, with 2021/22 carryout near 2.3 MMT of corn.

The country is on track to meet its 10 percent blending rate this year, and the government now claims that a 20 percent blending rate may be achievable in 2025, five years before the initial target.

India sugar production (biweekly seasonal comparison)

Source: ISMA, McKeany-Flavell
Posted by: Information Services
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