New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI): India’s sugar production fell by 15 per cent to 1.16 million tonnes till November 15 of the current marketing year that started last month as many mills have not yet started crushing operation in this season, industry body ISMA said Monday.
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) had last month forecast that the production in the current 2018-19 marketing year (October-September) may decline to 31.5 million tonnes (MT) from record 32.5 MT in the previous year.
ISMA had in July projected 35.5 MT of production for 2018-19 but revised its production estimates downward as the sugarcane crop in the three main growing states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, which contribute around 80 per cent to the total sugar output, have been impacted adversely.
“As expected, crushing for sugar season 2018-19 has started on time. As on November 15, 2018, 238 sugar mills were already crushing sugarcane, as compared to 349 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane last year on November 15, 2017,” ISMA said in a statement.
Sugar production stood at 1.16 MT as on November 15, 2018 compared to 1.37 MT as on November 15, 2017, it added.
Due to late start of crushing this year, sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh have produced 1.76 lakh tonnes of sugar till November 15, 2018 as against 5.67 lakh tonnes produced till November 15 last year.
In Maharashtra, however, sugar output rose to 6.31 lakh tonnes from 3.26 lakh tonnes during the period under review. Sugar production in Karnataka declined to 1.85 lakh tonnes as compared to 3.71 lakh tonnes.
Fall in production augurs well for mills as they have an opening stock of over 10 MT. The annual domestic demand is pegged at 26 MT.
Sugar mills have been asked to mandatorily export 5 MT in the current marketing year to liquidate surplus stocks and clear cane arrears to farmers.