The Hindu – 3 March 2018: Sugar output in Tamil Nadu is expected to be the lowest this season despite a bumper harvest reported by major sugar-producing States, according to the South Indian Sugar Mills Association (SISMA).
There is bumper harvest in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka during the current season (2017-2018), Palani G. Periasamy, president, SISMA, told The Hindu. However, Tamil Nadu is expected to produce just six lakh tonnes.
“We used to produce 25 lakh tonnes six or seven years ago. Last year, we did 10 lakh tonnes. This year, it will be just about six lakh tonnes,” he said.
Low cane availability
Tamil Nadu had been experiencing drought for almost four years leading to low availability of cane and affecting sugar recovery. “Usually, we crush cane for nine months in a season. This year, most mills in the State are expected to stop crushing by the end of this month. Capacity utilisation is just about 20 %,” he said.
According to data available on Indian Sugar Mills’ Association website, in January this year, the association estimated sugar production this season (October 2017 to September 2018) to be 261 lakh tonne. Till February 18, about 500 factories have been in operation across the country and produced 203.14 lakh tonnes.
Mr. Periasamy said since Tamil Nadu mills were under stress, SISMA sought a revival package from the State government. However, the low production would not affect consumers as sugar would come in from the States that had reported surplus production, he said.