Pune: Maharashtra’s sugar barons have alleged that some traders and trading companies have artificially pulled down sugar prices by about 13 per cent over a month, by spreading rumours about a jump in production and the possibility of imports.
Harshvardhan Patil, Maharashtra’s former co-operation minister who also runs a sugar mill, said, “Sugar prices have fallen from Rs 36.50 per kg (ex-mill) on November 10 to Rs 31.50 per kg today. Some traders, some companies are at play.”
Patil said there is not going to be any big jump in sugar production. “Sugar production is not going to be so high to justify such a rapid fall in prices, which is very rare. The government should find out why it is happening,” he said.
Sugar millers from Maharashtra claimed that sales have become extremely sluggish, making cane payments difficult.
From about Rs 36 per kg (ex-mill) before the beginning of the crushing season, sugar prices have now fallen to Rs 32 per kg and even lower in some cases.
Ashok Jain, president, Bombay Sugar Merchants’ Association said, “Sugar demand is still subdued, keeping prices low. We expect a further fall of about Rs 1 per kg in sugar prices this month.”