As on 15th February 2021, 208.89 lac tons of sugar have been produced by the mills, as compared to 170.01 lac tons produced on the corresponding date of last year. Out of 497 sugar mills which had started crushing in 2020-21 SS, 33 sugar mills have stopped crushing operations due to non-availability of sugarcane. Last year, 447 sugar mills had operated, out of which 20 had stopped crushing on the corresponding date last year.
In Maharashtra, 183 sugar mills were operating as on 15th February 2021 and had produced 75.46 lac tons of sugar, compared with 43.38 lac tons produced last year same period. In the current year 2 sugar mills have closed their operations. Last year 140 mills had operated, out of which 5 mills had stopped their crushing on the corresponding date.
In U.P. 116 sugar mills are in operation currently while 4 mills have stopped their crushing. These mills in the State have produced 65.13 lac tons of sugar till 15th February 2021, compared with 66.34 lac tons produced by 119 mills on the corresponding date of last year.
In case of Karnataka, till 15th February 2021, 66 sugar mills had commenced operations and produced 39.07 lac tons of sugar, as compared to 30.80 lac tons produced by 63 sugar mills last year same period. Out of 66 sugar mills which went for crushing this season, 17 sugar mills have stopped crushing as on 15th February 2021. Last year in the same period, out of 63 sugar mills which operated, 13 sugar mills had ended their crushing operations by 15th Feb 2020.
Gujarat had produced 6.55 lac tons of sugar till 15th February 2021 with 15 sugar mills in operation. Last year, similar number of sugar mills were in operation and they had produced 5.95 lac tons of sugar till 15th February 2020.
In case of Tamil Nadu, 25 sugar mills commenced their crushing operations so far for 2020-21 SS and have produced 2.25 lac tons of sugar, as compared to 2.63 lac tons produced by 21 sugar mills in 2019-20 SS on the corresponding date.
The remaining States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have collectively produced 20.43 lac tons of sugar till 15th February, 2021.
As per market reports, about 7 lac tons of sugar have been physically exported from India upto 31st January’ 2021 in the current sugar year starting from 1st October’ 2020, which also includes exports against 2019-20 SS MAEQ, which was extended upto 31st December’2020. It is estimated that out of total exports done so far, about 4 lac tons have been exported under the current year’s export policy.
As per reports from the trade, around 25 lac tons of sugar export have been contracted for. This is a very encouraging trend, considering that only 45 days have passed since the export quota were announced on 31st December’ 2020 for the current season. Substantial part of the contracted exports are for Indonesia. Once the clarification sought from Ministry of Commerce for exports to Iran is received, India will see many more export contracts happening very quickly. Ministry of Commerce will be issuing clarification very soon on exports to Iran.
Sugar mills are facing difficulties in lifting of ethanol by OMCs, even though they have allocated about 325 Cr ltrs of ethanol supplies in 2020 – 21. It seems that OMCs and their depots are not fully geared up, especially in newer depots and States, to take more quantity of ethanol. However, we expect an early solution to the problem by the OMCs, as done by them in the past when they had taken prompt action to negate any effect on supplies last year during lockdown.