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India extends sugar export restrictions until further orders

New Delhi: India has extended the restrictions on the export of sugar beyond October 31, 2023, and until further orders, according to a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issued on Wednesday.

The raw sugar, white sugar, refined sugar, and organic sugar are under export restrictions. The restriction is, however, not applicable to sugar being exported to the EU and the US under the concession (CXL) and TRQ quota as was announced last year.

Initially, the restrictions were imposed starting June 1 to October 31, 2022, and later extended by a year till October 31, 2023. A tariff rate quota essentially is a quota for exports at relatively low duties. Once the limit is exhausted, a higher tariff applies to additional shipments.

The idea behind the sugar export restriction initially was to make prices of sugar stable domestically. Earlier, in July, India prohibited the export of non-basmati white rice to check the domestic prices and ensure domestic food security.

While amending the export policy, DGFT maintained that the export will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their government.

By that virtue, India has allowed the export of non-basmati white rice in varying quantities to Nepal, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Republic of Guinea, Malaysia, Philippines, Seychelles, UAE, and Singapore.

West African country Benin is one of the major importers of non-basmati rice from India. Other destination countries are UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Cote D' Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, Guinea, Vietnam, Djibouti, Madagascar, Cameroon Somalia, Malaysia, and Liberia.

In late August, India also introduced additional safeguards by way of imposing a minimum floor price on exports of basmati rice so as to prevent exports of non-basmati white rice, which was already under the prohibited category since July.

Last week, the central government extended the 20 per cent export duty on parboiled rice till March 31, 2024, an official notification said. Rice which is partially boiled with husk is called parboiled rice.

Initially, the duty was introduced on August 25, 2023, and was due to remain effective till October 16, 2023, aimed at maintaining adequate domestic availability and checking its price.

India in September 2022 banned the exports of broken rice and imposed a 20 per cent duty on exports of non-Basmati rice, except for parboiled rice amid concerns about low production due to a fall in area under the paddy crop. It later lifted the ban in November. (ANI)

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