UPDATE 1-India to raise import duty on sugar, promote exports

lunes 23 de junio de 2014 04:32 GYT

* Climb in import duty would hit supplies from Brazil, Thailand

* Indian sugar prices climb on announcement

* Govt also raises mandatory level for blending ethanol in gasoline (Adds comment, detail)

By Mayank Bhardwaj and Ratnajyoti Dutta

NEW DELHI, June 23 (Reuters) - India will raise its import duty on sugar to 40 percent from 15 percent, as the government tries to revive business at mills that owe farmers around $1.84 billion, the food minister said on Monday.

The climb in import duty will make overseas purchases nearly unviable for refiners in the world's biggest consumer of the sweetener, hitting shipments from suppliers such as Brazil, Thailand and Pakistan.

"We have reached a consensus to raise the import duty to 40 percent," Ram Vilas Paswan said after meeting senior government officials.

Local sugar prices, which had been stifled by rising stockpiles, jumped 1.5 percent following the announcement and are likely to rise further if monsoon rains stay subdued as expected in the next few weeks, dealers said.

Paswan also told reporters the subsidy on raw sugar exports would be extended until September. India increased the subsidy for raw sugar earlier this month to boost output and exports.   Continuación...