Important statement issued by Ms. T. Sarita Reddy, President of ISMA
New Delhi, 27/01/2017
· Some people, with vested interests, are trying to confuse the market by simply throwing various numbers for sugar production and consumption for the country in 2016-17 sugar season. Their ulterior motive is to create panic to either artificially push up global prices because they are holding a position in the futures market or want to somehow force sugar imports into India.
· Based on satellite images of cane acreage, yields, recoveries and drawal of sugarcane, ISMA, in its Committee meeting on 25th Jan. 2017, attended by members from the sugar producing States, jointly and unanimously arrived at a sugar production estimate of 213 lakh tons for 2016-17 season. Similarly, based on actual sugar sales in Oct-Dec, 2016, and the trend in Jan. 2017, and reports of lower off-take by beverage manufacturers, sweet makers etc., the sugar consumption estimates for the year was revised downwards to 242 lakh tons. Considering these estimates along with the opening sugar stocks of 77.5 lakh tons, there is no shortage of sugar and therefore, there is no need to import any.
· A few speculators and sugar refiners continue to spread rumours, to suit their personal vested interests, and create opportunities for themselves to import sugar. Their statements on shortage of sugar, mostly made without any analysis and research, is causing speculation and volatility in the sugar market and spiking sugar prices unnecessarily.
· Unlike the sugar millers, who have a direct responsibility towards our small and marginal farmers, and have a close relationship with them for decades, the speculators and refiners have no responsibility towards our farmers, domestic sugar manufacturers or even the domestic consumers, and therefore have a short term gain in mind.
· However, with surplus sugarcane and sugar expected next year once again, and the need to pay remunerative prices to farmers, there is no need to import sugar unnecessarily. This decision should be taken with proper care and certainty.
· ISMA is totally against any speculation and does not want to unnecessarily burden the nation with extra sugar, especially when there is enough within the country. However, drought in major sugar producing areas makes estimations difficult. Therefore, as a responsible Association of Indian millers, ISMA will be the first to approach the Government, if and when there is any need felt on supplementing domestic availability through imports, with the exact quantity needed and the right approach to do so. However, as per current expectations and estimations made by millers across the country, there is no such need as of now. The lives and livelihoods of millions of farmers across the country depends on the decision taken so we are in constant dialogue with the Government on the issue.