India's sugar output has exceeded demand for the fifth consecutive year, resulting in lower prices in the domestic markets and creating liquidity crunch for millers, who are unable to clear cane arrears of about Rs 14,000 crore.
    
"It is in this background that the government has decided to put in place a perennial sugar export policy not only for Africa and China but also for countries surrounding India," Food Secretary Vrinda Sarup said while addressing an event organised by PHD Chamber here on warehousing issues.
    
Without divulging the time span by when the policy would be framed, Sarup said the the department is already engaged in an exercise to evolve a systematic sugar export policy in view of consistently rising domestic output, which is estimated to be in surplus by 10 million tonnes this year, a statement said.
    
Last month, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said that the Centre is considering a proposal to allow export of 4 million tonnes of sugar through barter trade against import of farm commodities to help mills offload surplus stock.
    
Due to surplus sugar production, ex-mill sugar prices have fallen below Rs 20/kg in the country, while the cost of production is over Rs 30/kg.
    
Sugar production is estimated at record 28.3 million tonnes in 2014-15 marketing year (October-September), as against 24.3 million tonnes in the previous year, while the total annual demand is pegged at 24.5 million tonnes.

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