Indian raw sugar heads to Vladivostok - trade

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LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) A shipment of Indian raw sugar is heading to Vladivostok, the first shipment of Indian sugar to Russia in recent memory, traders said on Wednesday.

''It was loaded from India to Vladivostok,'' a trader said, adding that the shipment would serve as a test to gauge the response of the Russian buyer to the quality of Indian supplies.

India has emerged as a major exporter of raw sugar, competing against supplies from Brazil, the world's top sugar exporter. Brazil is a primary supplier to Russia, the world's largest raw sugar importer.

A trader said one merchant had shipped a moderate tonnage of raw sugar from India to Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, and a second merchant may also be shipping sugar from India to Russia.

There were no further details.

Physical demand for Brazilian raw sugar was subdued this week because of soaring freight rates and competition from India in some regional markets, dealers said.

Freight rates are strengthening because of buoyant Chinese and Indian appetites for commodities to fuel their rapid economic growth, and the high costs of bunker fuel.

REUTERS PBB ht1800

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