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India Imposes Restrictions on Sugar Exports to Cap a Price Surge



India has imposed restrictions on sugar exports for the first time in six years by capping this season’s exports at 10 million tonnes, a government order said, to prevent a surge in domestic prices after mills sold a record volume on the world market.

The government has also asked exporters to seek its permission for any overseas shipments between June 1 and Oct. 31, the order said.

The decision was taken “with a view to maintain the domestic availability and price stability during the sugar season,” the food ministry said in a statement.

Sugar exports are forecast to hit a record high this marketing year, with contracts signed for around nine million tonnes, and 7.8 million tonnes already shipped.

India Bans Wheat Exports

Citing inflation and its own food security needs, in mid-May India banned any new wheat exports without government approval after the hottest March on record — blamed on climate change — hit harvests.

Although India is a marginal player in the global market, the move sparked a further surge in already-soaring global food prices since Russia’s February invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine, which previously accounted for 12 per cent of global exports.

The decision also stoked fears of growing protectionism in the wake of the conflict. The export ban also left hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wheat stranded at a major port in western India, with long lines of thousands of trucks waiting to unload.

Authorities stressed that government-to-government requests for wheat from other countries reeling from record-high prices would be permitted.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia temporarily halted palm oil exports and Malaysia banned chicken exports.

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