Australia has questioned India’s decision to make it mandatory for sugar millers to export 5 million tonnes during the 2015-16 sugar season, during a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting. According to an official who attended the meeting, the country has indicated that if India intends to carry out the mandated exports at a subsidised price, it has the potential to distort world trade in the commodity.
Australia, the EU, Colombia and Brazil also wanted to know from India about the increased rate of its export subsidy for raw sugar for the ongoing sugar year and asked it to respect the Bali ministerial declaration on export competition by exercising restraint.
Sugar exports would not be feasible because of higher domestic prices compared to global prices. Through mandatory sugar exports, India aims to reduce glut in the domestic market and help millers pay cane arrears to farmers.
At the meeting, India asked for more time to respond to Australia’s question.