According to the latest reports of ISMA, during 2020-21 SS, 502 sugar mills started crushing operations as against 457 mills which operated last year i.e., 45 more mills operated this year. 258.68 lac tons of sugar have been produced till 15th March 2021 as against 216.13 lac tons produced last year by 15th March 2020. As on 15th March 2021, 171 mills have stopped crushing and 331 sugar mills in the country were crushing. As compared to that, 138 mills had stopped operations last year as on 15th March 2020 and 319 mills were operating then.
In Maharashtra, sugar production till 15th March’ 2021 was 94.05 lac tons, compared with 55.85 lac tons produced last year same period. In the current 2020-21 SS, 48 mills have closed their crushing operations in the State, most of them in Solapur region, and remaining 140 sugar mills are operating. On the corresponding date in last season, 56 mills had closed their operations while 90 mills were in operation. The pace of closure is lower than last two crushing seasons, as during 2018-19 SS, 101 mills were closed while only 94 mills were in operation as on 15th March’2019. It is reported that in the current season in Maharashtra, mills in Marathwada and Ahmednagar regions will start closing in the upcoming fortnight, while most mills in Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli regions will continue in April’2021.
In U.P., 120 sugar mills which were in operation, have produced 84.25 lac tons of sugar till 15th March 2021. Out of 120 sugar mills, 18 sugar mills have stopped crushing operations, most of them located in Eastern U.P. Compared to this, 118 sugar mills in the State were in operation last year and they had produced 87.16 lac tons as on 15th March 2020. In case of Karnataka, till 15th March, 2021, 66 sugar mills have produced 41.35 lac tons of sugar. Out of the 66 sugar mills, 62 mills have already closed their operations in the State and only 4 mills are in operation. During the corresponding period last year, 63 sugar mills had produced 33.35 lac tons sugar. Of the 63 sugar mills, 50 had ended their operations and 13 mills were in operation as on 15th March 2020, last year. Considering the current situation in Karnataka and the upcoming special season in July – September, total of around 42.5 lac tons of sugar is expected to be produced in the State.
Gujarat has produced 8.49 lac tons of sugar till 15th March’ 2021. Out of 15 sugar mills operated this year, 2 sugar mills have ended their operations. Last year, similar number of sugar mills operated but 3 mills had closed their operations by 15th March, 2020 and had produced 7.78 lac tons of sugar.
In case of Tamil Nadu, 26 sugar mills commenced their crushing operations so far for 2020-21 SS and have produced 4.01 lac tons of sugar, as compared to 4.12 lac tons produced by 23 sugar mills in 2019-20 SS on the corresponding date i.e. 15th March,2020.
The remaining States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have collectively produced 26.53 lac tons of sugar till 15th March, 2021.
5 mill in A.P., 4 mills in Telangana, 8 mills in Bihar, 11 mills in Punjab, 13 mills in M.P. & Chhattisgarh have ended their crushing operations so far in the current season.
On the ethanol front, against the total LOI quantity of 325.53 Crore ltrs, 80.10 Cr ltrs of ethanol have been supplied as on 8th March’ 2021. Out of the total supply so far, about 78% comprises of ethanol made from sugarcane juice / B heavy molasses. Contracted quantity is of 296.77 Cr. ltrs. The Country on an average has achieved a blending percentage of 7% for the first time, while States like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Bihar have achieved even higher blending percentage of upto 10%.
To support the export program, Government has allowed the swap between MAEQ and domestic quota for the current 2020-21 SS, which has received positive response from the millers and so far 4.7 lac tons of reallocations have been done by the Government.
Further, the Government has recently issued a clarification that supply of raw / white sugar to SEZ refinery will be considered as export under MAEQ for 2020-21 SS and is covered under scheme of providing assistance to sugar mills. Clarification on sugar export to Iran is still awaited from the Government.
As per market reports, as against a total export quota of 60 lakh tons, around 43 lakh tons of export have already been signed. This is a great achievement especially because these contracts have been signed in just 2 ½ months, since the date the export quotas were allocated by the Government on 31st December, 2020. As per information collected from ports, 3.18 lakh tons of sugar was exported in Oct. – Dec., 2020, against the MAEQ of last season 2019-20 SS and another around 22 lakh tons of physical exports are expected between Jan. – March, 2021 against MAEQ of 2020-21 SS.