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Asia Minute: India's cutback on food exports will include sugar

India Sugar export ban
Rajanish Kakade/AP
A man packs sugar for a customer in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. India is restricting sugar exports to 10 million tons in the current season to help maintain domestic availability and keep prices stable. (AP Photo/Rajanish kakade)

Prices are continuing to rise for products from gasoline to mortgages. The cost of food is also going up — and that has more economies scrambling to adjust. This week, India is making another move in that area.

India is going to restrict its sugar exports. The government says it’s a move to keep domestic prices of sugar “under check.”

The Times of India reports the Food Ministry announced the action late Tuesday night local time.

Indian sugar exporters are now scrambling to fill ships with sugar — before the new regulations take effect on June 1.

The Food Ministry says sugar prices have spiked in recent months — sending exports to their highest level on record.

India is the world’s biggest producer of sugar — and the second-largest exporter, after Brazil.

This is the latest regional disruption in exports linked to rising global prices.

A little more than a week ago, India slammed the brakes on the export of wheat.

The government blamed domestic crop shortages caused by record heat — as well as the interruption of exports that usually would come from Ukraine and Russia.

On Monday, Malaysia’s Prime Minister announced it would stop exporting chicken at the end of the month.

This week Indonesia has allowed the export of palm oil to resume — following a three-week ban.

From sugar to wheat and palm oil to chicken, in each case, the main concern cited by government officials was the impact that increased global demand has had on domestic prices.

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