Sugar output is up 15 per cent at 16.13 million tonnes in the October-February 15 period of the 2011-12 season, on higher cane area and recovery, said the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA). In the corresponding period last year, the sugar output stood at 14 million tonnes.

Maharashtra leads the States in output and has so far produced 5.66 million tonnes, up 14 per cent over previous year. The recovery rate is marginally higher at 11.20 per cent in the State, ISMA said in a statement.

Similarly, output in Uttar Pradesh is up 13 per cent at 4.51 million tonnes on account of higher cane crushing during the period. However, the recovery is lower at 8.75 per cent as against 8.96 per cent in the previous year.

ISMA said 524 mills across the country were operational as against 502 in the previous year. The Southern States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have also reported a higher output this year. Production in Karnataka stood at 2.53 million tonnes, while in Andhra and Tamil Nadu it was 7.3 lakh tonnes and 7.1 lakh tonnes respectively.

ISMA, which initially projected the 2011-12 output at 26 million tonnes, maintained its estimates for the year. Last year, India had produced 24.2 million tonnes, while the annual demand for the sweetener is estimated at 22 million tonnes.

Recently, the Government has decided to allow additional exports of 1 million tonnes for the current season. So far, the Sugar Directorate has issued permits to export 9.47 lakh tonnes from the earlier tranche of 1 million tonnes.

vishwa@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 16, 2012)
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