ICRA says sugar import at 25% duty may not pull-down prices.

The government decision to allow import of 300,000 tonne of sugar at a concessional duty of 25% is unlikely to have any significant negative impact on prices of the sweetener in the near term, as the quantum of import permitted is very small. Including the 300,000 tonne of imported sugar, the closing stocks for current season are estimated to be around 4.7 million tonne, which would just be sufficient to meet the requirement of around two months of domestic consumption. The expected carryover stock for 2017-18 was lower than the normative stock level of three months–around 6 million tonne–and last year’s closing stock of 7.8 million tonne. The move to allow imports might also benefit the sugar mills based in west and south India, which are currently under profitability pressure due to low availability of cane.