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India to import 5,000 tonnes of sugar from Pakistan

October 04, 2012

Pakistan is allowing exports of 200,000 tonnes of sugar on top of the 300,000 tonnes already permitted as it looks to trim surplus stocks and bolster domestic prices.—File Photo

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Indian traders have sealed deals to import about 5,000 tonnes of white sugar from Pakistan, which has just allowed an extra 200,000 tonnes of overseas sales of the sweetener, Indian trade sources said on Thursday.

“The traders who have contracted imports from Pakistan perhaps found the FOB price of $545 per tonne attractive enough to buy. They stand to gain $15-$20 a tonne after paying a duty of 10 per cent,” said a New Delhi-based trader, who did not wish to be named.

India, the world’s top consumer and the biggest producer behind Brazil, levies a 10 per cent tax on sugar imports.

India has been an exporter for the past two years. Exports in the year to September 2012 totalled 3.3 million tonnes.

The country is expected to have a small exportable surplus in 2012/13 as well, although higher production costs could make it difficult to find buyers at prices acceptable to mills.

Whites from Pakistan have been booked for delivery at the eastern Haldia port, a second trader said.

The sugar price in western India is around $680 per tonne, while in northern and eastern parts of the country it is as high as $720.

Last month, Indian mills signed deals to buy up to 450,000 tonnes of Brazilian raw sugar because of the attractive gap between domestic and overseas prices.