Agri Business

Slow start to crushing season, production down by 64 per cent

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2019

File photo   -  istock/HandmadePictures

Mills ship out 2 lakh tonnes, orders in hand for an additional 12 lakh tonnes

The new sugar season has commenced on a sluggish note with sugar production dwindling by 64 per cent till November 15 as compared to the same period last season, according to data released by Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on Wednesday.

India's sugar production during the current season, which commenced from last month, was 4.85 lakh tonnes (lt) as against 13.38 lt produced in the corresponding period of the previous season.

In the current season, sugar mills in the country have shipped out 2 lt of sugar and have signed contracts for another 12 lt, the ISMA note said.

The drastic fall in the production was on account of a slow start to the crushing season, particularly in the flood-hit States of Maharashtra and Karnataka. While sugar mills in Maharashtra are yet to commence crushing, Karnataka's mills produced only 1.43 lakh tonnes sugar till November 15 as against 3.6 lakh tonnes in same period last year. As many as 149 sugar mills were in operation around this time last year, it said.

Both Maharashtra and Karnataka faced drought last year, because of which the area planted under sugarcane therein has dropped by about 30 per cent as compared to last season. With lower rainfall and water availability, the yields and recoveries are expected to be lower. In addition, the recent floods and extra rainfall have affected the crop further. The Maharashtra government said the crushing of sugarcane by the mills in the State will start from November 22.

Uttar Pradesh, the leading sugar producing State, reported sugar production of 2.93 lt so far. This is 1.23 lt more than that in the corresponding period last sugar season. As many as 69 mills are currently crushing sugarcane in the State, ISMA said.

Earlier this month, ISMA had projected that total sugar production in the current sugar season would be around 260 lt, nearly 20 per cent lower than the 2018-19 season’s 331.61 lt.

The total sugarcane production would be sufficient to produce 268.5 lt of sugar, but 8.5 lt less sugar would be produced as that much B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice would be diverted to produce ethanol for blending in gasoline.

Published on November 20, 2019

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