Agri Business

Sugar mills get a breather as Maharashtra lifts ban on sale of molasses

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on July 01, 2020 Published on July 01, 2020

Mills might crush 950 tonnes of sugarcane in the 2020-21 season, producing an estimated 36-38 lakh tonnes of molasses   -  THE HINDU

The Maharashtra government has lifted the ban on sale of molasses to other States and countries, as the decline in demand and production of liquor due to the lockdown has resulted in accumulation of molasses with mills.

“Lifting of the ban will streamline the molasses business, which is stagnant due to the Covid-19 spread. Sugar mills could sell their stock of molasses, which will solve storage and pollution problems. Farmers dependent on mills will benefit if molasses get a good price,” the State government’s resolution stated.

In December 2019, Maharashtra had banned the sale of molasses to other States and countries till September 30, 2020, since drought and floods in the State had affected cane production. The State had observed that liquor and ethanol production would get affected by the shortage of molasses.

According to a report by the State Excise Department, Maharashtra’s mills had 3.02 lakh tonnes of molasses at the beginning of the 2019-20 crushing season. This year, mills have produced 24.10-lakh tonnes of molasses. As per estimates from the Commissioner of Sugar’s office, mills might crush 950 tonnes of sugarcane in the 2020-21 season, producing an estimated 36-38 lakh tonnes of molasses.

 

The State has lifted the ban with immediate effect and authorised the State Excise Commissioner to overlook the sale of molasses to other States and countries.

The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) had issued an appeal saying that to reduce the glut in availability of molasses in the market next year, State governments should allow and encourage export of C-heavy molasses for at least one year in the 2020-21 sugar season, or till surplus sugarcane is produced by farmers. “Exports can happen without any financial burden on the government and yet help in the use of more B-molasses and cane juice for ethanol, instead of for sugar,” ISMA had stated.

Published on July 01, 2020
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