Commodity Analysis

Sugar traders seek duty-free imports

Compiled by BL Research Bureau | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on March 26, 2017

The All India Sugar Trade Association has pitched for duty-free imports of 1-1.5 million tonnes of the commodity to avoid a possible shortage in the current sugar season. AISTA representatives discussed the issue with Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday. The Association estimates sugar production at 20 million tonnes in the ongoing season and pegs consumption at 24.8 million tonnes.

Centre cuts import duty on sunflower seeds

The Finance Ministry, through a notification, has announced a reduction on import duty to 10 per cent, from 30 per cent, in response to a long-pending demand of the oil producers. The production of sunflower seeds has been dropping in recent years. It has come down from 14 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 to 3.31 lakh tonnes in the year 2015-16.

In the current year, though production may be higher relative to the previous year, it may not suffice to meet the full demand. The favourable import destinations are Ukraine, Russia and Tanzania. Though it is cheaper to import sunflower oil than the seeds, the reduced duty assures producers of the availability of the seeds.

Copra MSP increased to ₹6,500 per quintal

The Centre has announced an increase in the minimum support price (MSP) of copra by ₹550 per quintal for the 2017 season to boost copra cultivation. The MSP was ₹5,950 per quintal last year. The MSP for ball copra has been raised by ₹545 per quintal to ₹6,785 for 2017 against ₹6,240 in 2016.

This decision was taken after recommendations from the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.

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