ICRA sees India 2017-18 sugar consumption almost unchanged at 24.5 million tonne.

India domestic consumption of sugar is likely to be nearly unchanged on year at around 24.5 million tonne in 2017-18 (Oct-Sep). The Indian Sugar Mills Association had estimated sugar consumption in 2016-17 at 23.8-24.0 million tonne. The ratings agency also pegged the sugar output in 2017-18 at 24.5 million tonne, up 20.7% on year. As a result, there are expectations of a tight sugar stock situation in the upcoming season. While this expected tight stock situation, along with the recent increase in the import duty on sugar from 40% to 50% is likely to support the domestic sugar prices in the near term, the increase in cane costs for the coming crushing season will impact margins.