The Centre has ruled out any possibility of increasing the allocation of sugar (sucrose) to make ethanol over and above 17 lakh tonnes (lt) already fixed for the entire season. With a production estimate of 320-330 lt likely this season (October 2023-September 2024), the government sees the availability at much above the requirement of 270-280 lt.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the announcement to launch “Bharat Rice” next week, Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said the sugar situation is comfortable and there is hardly any price rise if the sugarcane price (FRP) hike is factored in. He said there is no plan to increase the allocation for ethanol.

No info on yield drop

On the likely yield drop of sugarcane in western Uttar Pradesh, he said the State government has not informed the Centre about any such possibility and overall sugar production so far in the entire State is higher than year-ago period.

Releasing the second advance estimates of sugar production for the 2023-24 season earlier this week, the Indian Sugar and Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA), said that it may decline 10 per cent to 330.5 lt (including the quantity diverted for ethanol) in the current season. However, mills are hopeful that some more quantity will allowed by the Government due to comfortable stock position, ISMA said on January 31.