The sugar balance sheet for India is taking dramatic changes with majorly sugar consumption falling owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the institutional demand importantly.
According to the latest release by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the stock position for the current season 2019-20 (October-September) is as follows
Opening Stock (as on 01.10.2019) : 145 LMT
Estimated Production during sugar season 2019-20 : 270 LMT
Estimated Domestic Consumption : 240 LMT
Estimated Export during Sugar Season 2019-20 : 50 LMT (MAEQ)
Estimated Closing stock as on 30.09.2020 : 125 LMT
Closing Stock as on (30.04.2020) : 235 LMT
The Department of Food & Public Distribution has been taking various measures for the current sugar season 2019-2020 like reimbursing the carrying cost of Rs.1674 crore towards maintenance of buffer stock of 40 LMT of sugar. Besides assistance @ Rs. 10448/MT being provided to sugar mills to meet expenses on export of 60 LMT of sugar. The likely expenditure for this will be around Rs.6268 crore. Also, Soft loans of about Rs.18600 crores are being extended through banks to 362 sugar mills and molasses-based standalone distilleries for enhancement and augmentation of ethanol production capacity, for which an interest subvention of about Rs.4045 crore for five years is being borne by the Government.
With the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, the world has been thumped and the sugar industry is left no different in terms of trends in feasibility of performance, production capacity, consumer market, sugar exports or precisely every factor that is incorporated to make this wheel from farmer to consumer run smoothly. Sugar millers have already started feeling the heat of financial stress with unsold sugar stocks, cane dues, unpaid interests etc. Though there seems to be a lower base of production in the current season, the scope of carrying a heavy stock pile looks very likely with consumption majorly being affected.
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