Agri Business

At 78 lakh tonnes, India’s sugar output falls to lowest in five years

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 02, 2020 Published on January 02, 2020

File photo   -  Bijoy Ghosh

The production of sugar was lowest since the 2014-15 season, when it stood at 74.95 lakh tonnes

Indian sugar mills produced 77.95 lakh tonnes of sugar till December 31, that is, the first three months of the current sugar season (October 2019-September 2020). This is the lowest in five years. In comparison, output of the sweetener in the corresponding period of the previous 2018-19 sugar season was 111.72 lakh tonnes, which was 30 per cent more than in the current season so far, according to a press statement from the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).

The production of sugar was lowest since the 2014-15 season, when it stood at 74.95 lakh tonnes.

Currently, 437 mills are crushing sugarcane, compared to 507 mills in the same period of the previous season.

In Maharashtra, 137 sugar mills, which are in operation, produced 16.50 lakh tonnes till December 31, against 187 sugar mills which had produced 44.57 lakh tonnes last year up to the same period. From the beginning of the season till December 31, 2019, average sugar recovery in the State stood at 10 per cent, against 10.5 per cent achieved in the corresponding period of 2018-19. This is because a part of the crushing includes the flood-affected sugarcane, which lost some sucrose content because of waterlogging, ISMA said.

According to reports of the Commissioner (Sugar), Maharashtra, two sugar mills — one in Ahmednagar and another in Aurangabad district — closed operations mainly due to non-availability of labour for harvesting and less availability of sugarcane.

On the other hand, in Uttar Pradesh, 119 sugar mills produced 33.16 lakh tonnes of sugar till December end, with an average recovery of 10.71 per cent. In the last 2018-19 season, 117 sugar mills, which were in operation as on the same date last year, produced 31.07 lakh tonnes of sugar with an average recovery of 10.84 per cent. About 18 to 20 sugar mills are also diverting ‘B’ category heavy molasses for production of ethanol.

In Karnataka too, sugar production was impacted by the floods brought by the last monsoon season. As many as 63 mills in operation produced only 16.3 lakh tonnes till December 31, against 21.03 lakh tonnes by 65 mills in the same period last year.

Other sugar-producing States put together produced nearly 12 lakh tonnes of sugar so far this season. According to market information, over 25 lakh tonnes of sugar export contracts have taken place so far.

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Published on January 02, 2020
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