The All India Sugar Traders Association has raised its sugar production estimated this season (October-September) by 0.4 million tonnes (mt) to 32 mt. It will still be lower than the 32.9 mt produced last season. Higher output in Maharashtra and Karnataka is likely to aid in raising the production figures, though Uttar Pradesh will likely report lower output.

Praful Vithalani, Chairman of All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA), said the estimate was made at the association’s recent crop committee meeting to re-assess sugar production in the current season. The first estimate was made two months ago.

It is for the fourth time that the AISTA first estimates are proving near to actuals, he said.

According to AISTA’s second estimates, sugar production in Maharashtra is estimated to reach 10.8 mt against the 9.6 mt in the first estimates, an increase of 1.2 mt. However, the production in Uttar Pradesh is estimated to decline to 10.6 mt from 11.7 mt in the first estimates, a decline of 1.1 mt.

The estimated decline of 0.3 mt in Tamil Nadu is likely to be compensated by a gain of 0.4 mt in Karnataka. According to AISTA’s second estimates, sugar production in Karnataka is estimated to reach 5.1 mt from 4.7 mt in the first estimates. The estimates are almost the same as first estimates in the remaining States.

Two windows open

Vithalani said the change in State-wise sugar production scenario is likely to affect trade flow in sugar trade with more sugar going from surplus Maharashtra to sugar-deficient States. The above estimates relate to sugar production only and exclude diversion of sucrose for ethanol production.

Stating that India has 2-2.5 mt of additional closing stock than required, Vithalani said, “Here, two windows get open to allow exports of sugar or ethanol blending for 2024-25.”

The government needs to give permission for 1 mt exports by June 2024, and 1 mt sucrose diversion to ethanol in the beginning of the new sugar season 2024-25, he added.