India sets 2013/14 cane price at 210 rupees per 100 kg-govt source

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 31, 2013 09:10 hrs

NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - India has fixed the price sugar mills must pay to cane growers at 210 rupees per 100 kg in the 2013/14 year, a government source said on Thursday.

India, the world's top sugar consumer and the biggest producer behind Brazil, asked mills to pay at least 170 rupees per 100 kg in the current year to Sept. 30.

Though the federal government revises the cane floor price every year, some state governments invariably raise the rate to woo farmers, a large political constituency.

Sugar mills are expected to produce between 23.5 million tonnes and 24 million tonnes in 2012/13, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said on Wednesday, marginally lower than the industry's forecast of 24.3 million tonnes.

India has turned into a net importer of sugar for the first time in two years despite surplus stocks at home as global prices have slumped, prompting millers to demand an increase in the import tax to curb cheaper overseas supplies. (Reporting by Nigam Prusty; editing by Malini Menon)

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