India, known as the world’s second-largest sugar producer, has been a significant exporter for the last six years.
However, this trend might change. The country is considering a ban on exports starting this year due to dwindling production. There’s even talk of potential imports in the following year as farmers shift focus to other crops. This shift has been attributed to adverse weather conditions affecting major sugar-producing regions.
Unusually dry conditions, aggravated by the El Nino phenomenon, have hit Maharashtra and Karnataka hard. These two states, along with Uttar Pradesh, contribute over 80% of India’s sugar output. This decline in production has led to concerns voiced by traders, industry officials, and farmers interviewed by Reuters.
Last year, India produced 33.1 million metric tons of sugar, trailing only behind Brazil’s expected 46.9 million tons. India has been a significant global supplier, accounting for 12% of the traded sugar. However, predictions suggest a potential drop in production to 31.7 million tons this year, with further declines anticipated in the coming years. This recent decline in the production of sugar in India will have an impact on Bangladesh as the country imports from India.
The Indian government’s intervention to limit sugar diversion for ethanol production is expected to impact the upcoming crop years.