New Delhi: India’s gross sugar production, without any diversion for ethanol, is anticipated to witness a 10% decline, reaching 330.5 lakh tonnes in the current marketing year concluding in September, according to economictimes.indiatimes.
The Indian Sugar Mills’ Association (ISMA) unveiled its second advance estimates for the 2023-24 marketing year (October-September) on Wednesday.
ISMA projects gross estimated sugar production at approximately 330.5 lakh tonnes in 2023-24, marking a decrease from the 366.2 lakh tonnes recorded in the previous year. The expected reduction is primarily attributed to lower output forecasts in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
In Maharashtra, gross production is estimated to fall to 99.9 lakh tonnes from the previous 118.5 lakh tonnes, while Karnataka’s production may decline to 49.7 lakh tonnes from 65.8 lakh tonnes. Conversely, Uttar Pradesh is expected to witness a marginal increase in gross output to 119.9 lakh tonnes from 118.9 lakh tonnes.
ISMA highlighted that the government has permitted sugar diversion of only 17 lakh tonnes for ethanol production via sugarcane juice/B-heavy molasses for the 2023-24 period. This suggests that net sugar production could be around 313.5 lakh tonnes.
Comparatively, the net sugar production during the 2022-23 marketing year stood at 328.2 lakh tonnes with a diversion of 38 lakh tonnes for ethanol-making from sugarcane juice and B-heavy molasses. Due to the limited diversion allowed by the government, the net sugar production is expected to decline by 4.5%.
Considering an opening stock of approximately 56 lakh tonnes on October 1, 2023, domestic consumption of 285 lakh tonnes, and the estimated net production of 313.5 lakh tonnes, ISMA forecasts comfortable closing stocks of around 84.5 lakh tonnes as of September 30, 2024.
ISMA expressed the belief that the government might approve an additional 18 lakh tonnes of sugar diversion for ethanol production in the current Ethanol Supply Year (ESY). Even with this allowance, the closing stock is anticipated to be sufficient for approximately three months into the next season, according to the association.
In the period from October to January of the 2023-24 marketing year, ISMA reported the production of 187.2 lakh tonnes of sugar, compared to approximately 195 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.