New Delhi, Jan 16,2024: The Central government has imposed a 50 per cent export duty on molasses, a by-product of sugarcane, with effect from January 18.
Molasses is used as an input for producing alcohol.
The government’s decision is aimed at ensuring adequate quantities of the raw material are available to meet its production target for ethanol (alcohol) which is blended with petrol to bring down vehicular emissions and also in the pharma industry to produce medicines.
There are fears that the domestic sugarcane output in the ongoing harvesting season may fall below the targeted level due to the erratic monsoon and the government is keen to prevent any shortage of molasses in the country.
The government aims to achieve its E20 (20 per cent ethanol blended petrol) target by 2025-26 from the 12 per cent level at present as part of promoting its biofuel policy.
India is the world’s largest molasses exporter and contributes about 25 per cent to global trade.
The major exporting states being Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka.
The main countries to which molasses is exported include the Netherlands, Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea and Italy.