As many as 463 sugar mills across the country took sugarcane crushing season this year which is 25 less than last year. At the end of February, 2653 lakh tonnes of sugarcane has been crushed which is 102 lakh tonnes more than last year on this date. The new sugar production was 260 lakhs tonnes, which is 7 lakh tonnes more than the production on this date last year. However, the country’s average sugar recovery has recorded at 9.78 percent, which is 0.15 percentage points lower than the 9.93 percent sugar consumption recorded on this date last year. By the end of February, 61 factories in the country have completed their grinding season and it is likely that the grinding season of more than half of the factories in the country will be completed by the end of March.
On the background of all this, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) has estimated the production of 334 lakh tonnes of sugar by the end of the current season 2022-23, which is estimated to be less than 25 lakh tonnes compared to last year’s 359 lakh tonnes of sugar production. The NFCSF President Shri Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar said in a statement.
“The net sugar production of 334 lakh tonnes is in addition to the subsumption of about 45 lakh tonnes of sugar for ethanol production. That is, the gross sugar production in the country is estimated to be 379 lakh tonnes. By deducting annual local consumption of 275 lakh tonnes and taking into account the opening stocks of 62 lakh tonnes at the beginning of the season and even with the export of 61 lakh tonnes, there will be about 60 lakh tonnes of sugar left at the end of the current season, which will be able to meet domestic requirement of two and a half to three months after October 2023,” viewed the Managing Director of National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Mr. Prakash Naiknavare. According to him, these estimated figures will contribute in keeping the local prices of sugar stable.
Last year , Maharashtra as well as neighboring Karnataka, Gujarat had witnessed prolonged rains and which had extended retreat rains and this led to the late start of the crushing. Besides, cloudy weather during August, September, October 2022 has adversely affected the sugarcane weight and sugar content in the sugarcane. But last year’s ratoon sugarcane quantum will be less in the new season and its favourable effect will be seen next year.
Sugar production is expected to pick up once again from October 23 to September 24 this year. Although the United States Meteorological Department has hinted of the threat of El Nino by the end of July, the dams, water reservoirs and soil moisture due to the excess rainfall last year have been filled, and before the outbreak of El Nino, general rainfall is expected in June/July. Also, the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories has analyzed that there is little possibility of adverse effects of El Nino on sugar production and crushing season of 2023-24 .