Sugar mills across the country have produced 342.37 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar between October 1, 2021, and April 30, 2022. This is about 42 lakh tonnes or 14 per cent higher than 300.29 lt produced during the same period last season (October 2020-September 2021). 

The India Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has estimated that during the current season, the sugar industry should be able to export over 90 lt.

In a statement, ISMA said, compared with 106 sugar mills that were crushing sugarcane in April 2021, about 217 crushed the cane in April this year.

In Maharashtra, sugar production till April 30, 2022, was 132.06 lt against 105.63 lt produced a year ago, almost 26.4 lt higher than last year.

In the current sugar season, 76 mills have closed their crushing operations in the State and 123 are still operating compared with the 23 mills that operated last year during the year-ago period.

“The mills are currently facing the problem in harvesting and transportation of harvestable cane still available in the State. Accordingly, the State government has announced assistance to enable mills to continue crushing till cane lasts,” ISMA stated in a press release. 

Uttar Pradesh sugar mills have produced 98.98 lt of sugar as of April 30, 2022, which is 6.64 lt lower than the output of 105.62 lt achieved by them last year on the corresponding date. Of the 120 mills operated this year, 78 have ended their crushing and 42 mills continue to operate against 45 mills that were operating on April 30, 2021. 

Of the 72 mills operating in Karnataka, 70 have already closed their crushing operations for the main season, while two are in operation. The State has produced 59.02 lt of sugar. However, a few closed mills might operate in the special season commencing June-July. During the corresponding period last year, all the 66 sugar mills had closed their operations and produced 42.48 lt of sugar. However, in the special season last year, 2.20 lt of sugar were produced. 

Gujarat has produced 11.55 lt of sugar till April 30 with ten sugar mills in operation. Last year, production was 10.15 lt of which five mills are in operation on the same date.

In the case of Tamil Nadu, of the 29 sugar mills that operated this season, five mills have ended crushing. Till April 30, 2022, sugar production in the State was 8.40 lt against 6.04 lt produced by 27 sugar mills.

The remaining States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have collectively produced 32.36 lt by April 30, 2022.

Of these States, Bihar, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have already closed their crushing operations for the current campaign.

Higher estimation

As per reports from sugar mills and estimations made by ISMA, sugar sales by the end of March 2022 have been estimated at 136.14 lt against 129.48 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, up by 6.66 lakh tonnes.

Further, the domestic sugar sales quota released by the government up to May 2022 is also higher by 6.5 lakh tonnes against the same period a year ago. ISMA expects domestic consumption in the current season to be at 272 lt against 265.5 lt last year.

As per reports from the trade, around 82-83 lt of sugar have been contracted for exports so far. Of this, nearly 68 -70 lt are estimated to have been physically exported till April-end compared with 43.19 lakh tonnes a year ago.

Accordingly, it is estimated that in the current season, the Indian sugar industry is likely to export over 90 lakh tonnes.

Ethanol production

On the ethanol front, against the total LOI quantity of 425.17 crore litres, 410.32 crore litres have been contracted for and 168.66 crore litres of ethanol have been supplied as on April 24. Out of the total supply so far, about 149.16 crore litres i.e., over 88 per cent have been supplied by the sugar industry. The country, on an average, has achieved a blending percentage of 9.82 per cent on the corresponding date, ISMA said.

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