(Updates with sugar output figures in third paragraph.)
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- India, the world’s second-biggest sugar producer, may allow exports after the festival season ends this month and as production surges to a four-year high.
The government may allow exports of 500,000 metric tons of the sweetener by the end of this month and may permit a similar quantity by Nov. 30, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said in an interview today. The sales need approval of a ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Thomas said.
India’s sugar output may total 25.5 million tons in the year ending Sept. 30, compared with an earlier estimate of 24.6 million tons, he said. The nation likely produced 24.3 million tons last year, Thomas said.
Higher production in India may help ease a shortage caused by a decline in supplies from Brazil, the biggest producer and shipper. Futures have declined 21 percent this year on expectations of increased production from Thailand, Russia and European Union.
Sugar futures reached a six-month high in August on concern that cane production in Brazil will drop for the first time in six years because of adverse weather, paring global surplus. Raw sugar for March delivery increased 0.51 cent, or 2.1 percent, to 25.20 cents a pound at 10:57 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York.
The food ministry revised the sugar output estimate for 2011-12 after meeting with Farm Minister Sharad Pawar today, Thomas said. India, which regulates sugar sales, allowed mills to export 2.6 million tons in the year ended Sept. 30.
The festival season this year started with Eid in August and ends in October with Diwali.
--Editors: Abhay Singh, Jay Shankar
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