Agri Business

Sugar production in 2020-21 is slated to be 305 lakh tonnes: ISMA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2020 Published on June 25, 2020

Acreage up by 8% to nearly 52.28 lakh ha

Sugar production in the country during the forthcoming season 2020-21 would be around 305 lakh tonnes (lt) as against the expected 272 lt during the current season, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said on Thursday.

The sugar production could have been as high as 320 lt, but this would not happen because sugarcane sufficient to produce 15 lt sugar is projected to be diverted to produce ethanol, the sugar industry body said.

ISMA, which assessed the latest satellite images of sugarcane-growing areas in the country, said that there is 8 per cent increase in area under sugarcane to nearly 52.28 lakh hectares (lh) as compared to 48.41 lh in the previous sugar season of 2019-20.

Much of this increase in production is expected to come from Maharashtra and Karnataka, which reported less sugarcane area and sugar production due to adverse weather conditions last year.

The cane area in Maharashtra, for instance, is estimated to be 11.12 lh in 2020-21 season, nearly 43 per cent more than 7.76 lh in sugar season 2019-20, mainly because of better rains that the State received during the last monsoon season and subsequently. Together with better productivity can push the sugar production in the State to 101.34 lt in 2021-21 season as against 61.61 lt in the current season.

In Uttar Pradesh, the leading sugarcane producing State in the country, on the other hand, there is a marginal 1 per cent decrease in sugarcane area to 22.92 lh. However, ISMA said it doesn’t expect the sugar production to fall because of good crop condition and continued adoption of high-yielding varieties in higher areas by farmers. Sugar production estimated for the State in the coming season is 123 lt. In the current sugar season, sugar production was 126.45 lt — nearly 5-6 lt more than earlier projected because the diversion of sugarcane meant for gur and khandsari making units to sugar units, owing to premature closure of these units due to nation-wide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Similarly, Karnataka, where the sugarcane area is nearly 15 per cent higher at 4.85 lh, is expected to produce 43.13 lt of sugar as against the projected 34.20 lt for the current season. Most other sugar-producing States are expected to produce marginally more sugar than the 2019-20 season, barring Tamil Nadu where it may go down slightly.

So far, the total production of sugar in the country this season was 270.25 lt and this may go up to 272 lt as special sugarcane crushing seasons coming up in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka which would add another 1.5 lt.

Ethanol

Sugar mills and distilleries have so far supplied 88 crore litres of ethanol against the supply contracts signed for 170 crore litres. Nearly 56 crore litres of this ethanol came from B molasses and cane juice, leading to a reduction of 8 lt in sugar production. Next year, ISMA is expecting a diversion equivalent of 15 lt of sugar to additional ethanol production. As a result, sugar production next season is expected to be 305 lt, it said.

Per ISMA calculations, carry forward sugar stocks this year would be around 115 lt as against the opening balance of 145 lt at the beginning of the current season which began on October 1 last year.

Published on June 25, 2020
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