“There is a drought-like situation in Maharashtra and Karnataka. But in Uttar Pradesh the monsoon has been just perfect for a good produce this year. So our sugar production should increase”

Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd expects a 10-15 per cent rise in sugar production this year. The company produced 8.07 lakh tonnes of sugar in the past financial year.

According to Vivek Saraogi, Managing Director, the company would crush more cane this year compared with last year.

The 10-odd sugar mills of the company together crushed close to 85 lakh tonnes of cane in the past year.

“There is a drought-like situation in Maharashtra and Karnataka. But in our cane-producing region — Uttar Pradesh — the monsoon has been just perfect for a good produce this year. So our sugar production should increase this year,” Saraogi said on the sidelines of the company’s 36th annual general meeting here on Tuesday.

Prices

The company expects a better price realisation from sugar this year. Sugar, ruling at Rs 2,900 a bag of a quintal each till June, increased to Rs 3,600 a bag in July-end.

According to Santosh Kumar Agrawala, Company Secretary, Balrampur Chini, the spurt in prices was mainly on account of the extended summer this year.

“Summer had extended by almost a month this year and there was a spurt in demand from cold-drink manufacturers. This led to a rise in sugar prices,” he said.

India’s consumption stands at about 230 lakh tonnes. In 2011-12, the country produced about 250 lakh tonnes of sugar, of which close to 20 lakh tonnes were exported. “Prices are likely to stabilise at Rs 3,400-3,500 a bag this year,” Agrawala said.

Results

The company’s net loss during the April-June quarter narrowed down to Rs 18 crore, compared with a net loss of Rs 20 crore during the year-ago period. The sugar business posted a net loss of Rs 23 crore.

“Sugar is a cyclical industry, and the first and second quarters are typically down as there is no production during these two quarters,” Agrawala said. Net sales increased by 22 per cent to Rs 692 crore.

shobha.roy@ thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 7, 2012)
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