Sugar mills in the country have produced nearly 170 lakh tonnes (lt) of sugar till February 15, about 22.7 per cent lower than about 220 lt sugar produced in the corresponding period of the previous sugar season, a statement from Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said on Tuesday.
Currently, 426 mills are crushing sugarcane, compared with 502 sugar mills as on the corresponding date in the last sugar season. India’s sugar season runs from October to September. Besides, 23 mills have already stopped crushing operation due to non-availability of sugarcane, as against 19 on the same date last year.
With prices of raw and white sugar ruling 20 to 25 per cent higher in the global market than three months ago, Indian mills have a good chance of getting better prices for their exports. According to analysts, there is eight to nine million tonnes shortfall in global production of sugar in the current sugar season, ISMA said.
In Uttar Pradesh, which so far produced maximum sugar, 119 operating sugar mills produced 66.34 lt of sugar, as compared to 63.93 lt by 117 mills in the same period last year. In Maharashtra, sugar production so far was 43.38 lt, as against 82.98 lt in the same period last year. As many as 143 mills – 50 mills lesser than last year – in the State were in operation, but eight mills have already stopped crushing.
Mills in Karnataka produced 30.8 lt of sugar so far, as against 38.74 lt in the corresponding period last season. As compared to 68 mills last year, only 63 mills were in operation this year and 13 of them have already stopped crushing. Gujarat mills have so far crushed enough sugarcane to produce 5.95 lt of sugar, compared to 7.78 lt till February 15 in 2019.
Sugar production in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh & Telangana till February 15 was 2.6 lt and 3.06 respectively, compared with 3.85 lt and 4.5 lt in the corresponding period last year. In Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, sugar production till February 15 has been 5.08 lt, 2.41 lt, 3.72 lt, 3.51 lt and 2.76 lt, respectively.
Ex-mill sugar prices in the southern and western parts of the country are ruling in the range of ₹3,100-3,200 per quintal while that in the northern parts in the range of ₹3,200-3,300 per quintal, ISMA said.
According to market reports, about 16 lt sugar has been exported so far and contracts have been signed for exporting an additional 32 lt. The government is believed to be reworking export quotas this year as some mills have decided to surrender their export quota. The reallocation is expected to be announced very soon.