The largest sugar producer Bajaj Hindusthan has contracted 91,000 tonnes of raw sweetener for processing during the next sugar season starting October this year. It has planned to import around one lakh tonnes of raw sweetener during sugar season 2009-10. Sugar mills have contracted about 20 lakh tonnes of raw sweetener since February, while public sector trading firms - STC, MMTC and PEC - have entered into a contract for 56,000 tonnes.
As part of its measures to augment sugar availability in the country, the Centre in February allowed mills to import duty-free raw sugar under the advance licence scheme (ALS) and sell the refined sugar in the market. Under the ALS, mills are required to export similar quantity later. In April, the Centre also permitted mills to import duty- free raw sugar till August 1, under open general licence, which means they do not have to meet any export obligations.
According to government data, sugar prices have stabilised in the domestic market since May and are ruling at around Rs 27 a kg in Delhi.