Govt to consider lifting ban on sugar futures
Moneylife Digital Team 19 August 2010

New Delhi: The government will consider lifting ban on sugar futures trading in the first week of September after assessing production situation of the sweetener, reports PTI quoting agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.

Trading in sugar futures was banned in May 2009 and the suspension is valid till September 2010.

"I will get to know the sugar production situation in September. I will take a view on it (lifting ban on sugar futures) in the first week of September," Mr Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of a National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) function here.

Mr Pawar was replying to a query that whether the government will consider removing ban on sugar futures in view of sharp fall in prices.

Retail sugar prices, at present, are ruling sharply lower by 40% at Rs30 a kg compared to Rs48 a kg in mid-January in Delhi.

Sugar production in India, the world's second largest producer and the biggest consumer, is estimated to touch 18.8 million tonnes in the ongoing 2009-10 season, nearly three million tonnes more than the earlier projection.

In 2010-11, sugar output is expected at 25.5 million tonnes, higher than the annual demand of 23 million tonnes.

The sugar season runs from October to September.

The country has imported about 6 million tonnes of sugar since early last year as sugar output in 2008-09 and 2009-10 crop year was lower than the domestic demand.

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