Indian sugar rises on crushing delay, import duty talk

Indian sugar futures rose on Thursday on hopes the government would raise import duty and a delay in cane crushing in Uttar Pradesh, the second biggest sugar producing state.

* At 0927 GMT, the key December contract on India’s National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange was up 0.7 percent at 3,313 rupees ($60.35) per 100 kg.

* Sugar jumped by 27 rupees to 3,444 rupees per 100 kg at the Kolhapur spot market in top-producing Maharashtra state.

* “Traders are expecting an upward revision in import duty as cheaper supplies are coming. To protect local farmers’ interest, the government may raise import duty,” said Vedika Narvekar, a senior analyst with Angel Commodities Broking.

* India currently imposes a 10 percent import tax on sugar.

* “Cane crushing in Uttar Pradesh hasn’t started yet. The delay can hurt yields,” Narvekar said.

* In Uttar Pradesh, farmers and mills are waiting for the state government to announce the state-advised price for cane.

* Higher supplies for the December to March period capped the upside, dealers said.

* The government has allowed sugar mills to sell 7 million tonnes of sugar in the open market between December and March, including 200,000 tonnes of unsold stocks from the October-November period, slightly higher than the average monthly allocations of about 1.7 million tonnes.

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