New Delhi: The new sugarcane crushing season is in full swing in 439 sugar mills across the country. As on November 30, 592 lakh tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed and 48.35 lakh tonnes of new sugar has been produced. Compared to the same date last year, sugarcane production is increased by almost 89 lakh tonnes (+17.67 per cent) and sugar production also is increased by 2.90 lakh tonnes (+6.38 per cent). But compared to last year, the average sugar recovery has recorded at 8.12 percent, which is 10 percent less than the corresponding date of the last year.
The National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) projects the sugar production at the end of the current season to be 357 lakh tonnes hoping that the reports of decrease in the sugar production will not have adverse impact on the domestic market.
The reports that the sugar production will decrease by seven per cent in India appeared in a section of the media, created some excitement in the sugar industry across the world. But this seems to be premature for the simple reason that a clear picture of sugarcane and sugar production could emerge only after completion of at least 60 days of actual crushing, it views.
The ground reality is that the sugar season across the country has started late by about two to three weeks due to the prolonged mansoon rains. In addition, the announcement of the new sugar export policy of the Central government was delayed by almost a month. Along with this, the severe cold weather at the beginning of the season, disappeared later. Due to all these factors, some experts seem to be hastily predicting a decline in sugar production in India. Taking into account increase in sugarcane area, proportion of ratoon and the weather impact on ground, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories has estimated that the expected sugar production at the end of the current season will be 357 lakh tonnes, said the President of the NFCSF Shri Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar.
“Considering opening balance of 61.53 lakh tonnes, sugar diversion of 45 lakh tons in ethanol, local consumption of 275 lakh tonns and estimated sugar exports of 75 lakh tonnes, the closing stock for the season ending 30 September 2023 is estimated at 71.53 lakh tonnes, which is estimated to be merely 10 lakh tonnes more YoY. Therefore, it may not have much adverse effect on the selling price of sugar in the local market at the factory level as well as the purchase price at the retail level,” asserted Shri Prakash Naiknavare, Managing Director of National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories.