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Record production in India eased worldwide sugarcane prices: FAO

Rome, Oct: Bumber harvest in India played a major role in easing sugarcane prices the world over, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said in its latest report.

It pinned much hope also on the expected record high crop production across the world this year, which could be achieved due to the buoyancy being witnessed in India during the ongoing kharif season.

Overall, the FAO price index in September of all commodities registered a significant rise of 32.8 per cent over September last year, and a 1.2 per cent high in September as compared to August this year.

The trend was witnessed across essential commodities. But record harvest and good yield in certain countries brought prices, threatening to shoot up, under control, it said.

Talking about sugarcane, the report said the prices remained about 53.5 per cent higher in September this year as compared to the same period last year. But compared to August, the prices went up marginally by about 0.5 per cent. This was because of  “slowing global import demand and good production prospects in India and Thailand that curbed the upward pressure.”

At one point, the report said, the prices continued to remain high in wake of adverse weather conditions and higher ethanol prices in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter.

As per the latest projection by the Indian government, total sugarcane production in the country in 2021-22 is estimated at 419.25 million tonnes, higher by 57.18 million tonnes than the previous fiscal.

The FAO report said that the world rice production is foreseen at 50 million tonnes, a new record, primarily reflecting more buoyant expectations from India’s main crop.

As reported earlier, India is expecting to meet 45 per cent of the global demand for rice in international market this year, being the major players for buyers in Asia and Africa.

The FAO anticipated 776.7 million tonnes of wheat harvest in 2021 higher yields in Eastern Europe and Australia.

The report also highlighted the sharpest rise in prices seen in key essential commodities such as vegetable oil. Prices of this commodity rose by 60 per cent in September as compared to the same month last year.  It said international palm oil price reached a 10 year high due to a robust global import demand and concerns of labour shortage in Malaysia impacting production there.

The global effect was also felt in India from the beginning of this year as retail prices of edible oil shoot up through the roof, promoting the government to step in with duty cuts in import of cooking oil. Last week, the government has announced to waive customs duty on import of crude sunflower, palm and soyabean oil to check prices. The decision will remain in vogue till the end of this financial year.

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