India’s sugar production increased by 3.4 per cent till January 31 from the start of the season on October 1 with diversion for ethanol output increasing by 38.6 per cent, according to the data released by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
According to ISMA, a body of private sugar mills, net sugar production has been estimated 6.2 per cent higher at 21.61 million tonnes (mt) than 20.34 mt during the same period a year ago.
During the period, the diversion for ethanol increased to 2.26 mt from 1.63 mt resulting in 19.35 mt (18.71 mt last year) of sugar production.
Maharashtra led the rise with the output in the State increasing to 7.38 mt (7.29 mt), while in Uttar Pradesh it was up at 5.1 mt (5.03 mt). Production in Karnataka and other States, too, increased.
Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra jointly diverted 0.73 mt of sugar production each compared with 0.56 mt and 0.52 mt, respectively. Karnataka diverted 0.71 mt (4.8 mt) for ethanol manufacturing.
In the current season, 520 mills began their operations against 510 mills last season. Four mills have ended their crushing operations this season and 516 are still operating, ISMA said. During the same time, a year ago, only one mill had ended its operation and 509 were in operation.
ISMA said the estimated sugar diversion towards the production of ethanol is based on the percentage of area harvested as obtained from satellite imagery and feedstock-wise total allocated and supplied quantity of ethanol.