AISTA urges government to extend sugar sale of February quota by two weeks in March

All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) has urged the government to extend the deadline of selling sugar of February quota by two weeks in March as millers were not able to sell their monthly allocated quota in the domestic market. At present, the government fixes a monthly quota for the sale of sugar in the domestic market. On average, about 21 lakh tonne quota is fixed for a monthly sale for mills.

Mills are required to sell at least 90 per cent of the monthly quota as per the stock holding limit order of the ministry.  Currently, many mills, that do not have the capacity to hold sugar for 12 months, are selling more than their allocated monthly quota. As a result, wholesale sugar prices have dropped to as low as Rs 3,325-3,370 per quintal in Maharashtra, which is grossly below the cost of production. 

In its first estimate, AISTA has pegged the country's sugar production at 31.6 million tonnes in the 2023-24 season (October-September), marking a decline of 4 per cent against the previous season. The government is keeping a close watch on sugar and other commodities ahead of general elections.