Sugar prices in retail markets will start to ease shortly in step with wholesale rates that have dropped after recent government measures to curb prices, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Monday said.
“After measures, there were some changes in sugar prices. There is a drop in the wholesale prices of sugar... Whenever there is a drop in the wholesale price, it (the impact) takes about 10-15 days to reach the retail market,” Mr. Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
Asked when retail prices will come down, he said, “We hope that process has started.”
He said sugar prices have come down to Rs. 3,700-3,800 a quintal from Rs. 4,200 per quintal in the wholesale market.
As per official data, retail price of sugar has gone up to Rs. 47 a kg in the National Capital from Rs. 22 a year-ago.
Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) took a slew of measures to increase availability of sugar in the domestic market and contain prices. It allowed processing of imported raw sugar anywhere in the country, extended deadline of duty-free import of white sugar till December-end.
India, the world’s largest sugar consumer, has been importing sugar since April last year to meet the shortfall in production. Sugar output is estimated at 16 million tonnes in the current season, ending September 2010, against an annual demand of 23 million tonnes.