The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Commerce Ministry has extended the date for restrictions on the export of raw sugar, white sugar, refined sugar, and organic sugar beyond October 31, 2023. The restrictions, however, are not applicable to sugar being exported to the EU and the U.S. under a certain quota, a ministry notification says.

After banning wheat exports in May this year, the central government imposed restrictions on sugar exports from June 1, 2023, to meet the domestic demand and ensure price stability. The exports after June 1, 2023, were allowed on production with “specific permission” from the directorate of sugar under the consumer affairs ministry.

Amid the development, many sugar stocks closed in negative territory today. Uttam Sugar Mill Ltd closed up 2.49% at ₹444.15 on the NSE today. However, KCP Sugar and Industries Corp Ltd shares dropped 2.97% to ₹37.6. Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd also closed 1.2% down at ₹53.70. Shares of E I D-Parry (India) Ltd recorded a 2.68% fall to ₹497.9.

Shares of other sugar companies like Mawana Sugars, Balrampur Chini Mills, Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar, Dhampur Sugar Mills, and Sakthi Sugars rose 1.93%, 0.57%, 0.38%, 0.27%, and 0.32%, respectively. Benchmark Sensex and Nifty also closed down 0.83% and 0.71%, respectively.

In order to keep track of the sugar stock to combat hoarding and curb unscrupulous speculation, the government in September 2023 issued orders to mandatorily disclose the stock position of sugar for traders or wholesalers, retailers, big chain retailers, processors of sugar on the government portals.

As per the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, with 83 LMT at the end of August 2023 and expected beginning of crushing in October 2023, India has sufficient stocks for domestic consumption with "no shortage for festivals".

The All India Sugar Trade Association has trimmed production estimates by 3% for the crop year spanning October 2022 to September 2023.

The DGFT in another decision permitted the export of non-basmati white rice to Nepal, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivore, Republic of Guinea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Seychelles via National Cooperative Exports Ltd.

Notably, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, the government last year banned the export of wheat with immediate effect to curb the sudden spike in the global prices of wheat and the looming food security threat across several regions of the world. The intense heatwave across India also forced India, the second-largest producer of wheat, to pull the plug on exports. The ban put pressure on the global supply chain as many global buyer nations banked on India for wheat as exports from the Black Sea region stopped following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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