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SUGAR

About 185.19 lakh tonne produced by sugar mills in India as on Jan 31
Tuesday, 05 February, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
As on January 31, 2019, 514 sugar mills in India produced 185.19 lakh tonne of sugar, as compared to 171.23 lakh tonne produced by 504 mills last season on the corresponding date. The higher production this year as compared to last year was because the mills had started crushing earlier this year than the previous season.

Considering the trend of yields, recoveries and drawal of sugarcane, as also the diversion of some B heavy molasses to ethanol, sugar production this year is estimated to be around 307 lakh tonne. This will be 5-6 per cent less than the sugar production of about 325 lakh tonne in the previous season.

In Maharashtra, sugar production till January 31, 2019 was 70.70 lakh tonne, compared with 63.08 lakh tonne produced last year same period. In the current sugar season (SS) 2018-19, 191 sugar mills are operating, as against 182 mills which operated last year in the same period. The sugar production in Maharashtra this year is expected to be less than the actual production of last year.

In Uttar Pradesh, 117 sugar mills are in operation and they have produced 53.36 lakh tonne of sugar till January 31, 2019, compared with 53.98 lakh tonne produced by 119 mills on the corresponding date of last year. The sugar recovery achieved this season is about 0.81 per cent more than what was achieved last year.

In case of Karnataka, till January 31, 2019, 65 sugar mills have produced 33.40 lakh tonne, as compared to 26.78 lakh tonne produced by 58 sugar mills in the same period last year.

In case of Tamil Nadu, 29 sugar mills commenced their crushing operations so far for SS 2018-19, and they produced 3.10 lakh tonne of sugar, as compared to 2.12 lakh tonne produced by 30 sugar mills in SS 2017-18 on the corresponding date.

Gujarat has produced 6.50 lac tons of sugar till 31stJanuary 2019 with 16 sugar mills in operation. Last year, 17 sugar mills were in operation and they had produced 6.07 lac tons of sugar till 31st January 2018.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 24 sugar mills have produced 3.70 lakh tonne as on January 31, 2019, as compared to 3.80 lakh tonne produced by these mills on the corresponding date last season.

In Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, sugar production till January 31, 2019 has been in the order of 4.08 lakh tonne, 1.75 lakh tonne, 2.90 lakh tonne, 2.90 lakh tonne and 2.60 lakh tonne, respectively.

It is estimated that cane price arrears across the country have reached about Rs 20,000 crore at the end of January, 2019.

Considering the pace of crushing in the remaining three peak months of current SS 2018-19 and if current average all India domestic ex-mill price remains at about Rs 29-30 per kg, millers might not be able to clear the dues on time, it is feared that it may further increase to very uncomfortable levels by the end of April 2019.

Ex-mill sugar prices across the country are ruling in the range of Rs 29-30 per kg which is about Rs 5 to 6 per kg below the cost of production of sugar.

ISMA has requested the Central government to increase the minimum ex-mill price of sugar to Rs 35-36 per kg, so that the sugar mills could recover their costs and improve their fund position for payment of cane price to the farmers and also service their debts and other obligatory payments.

Sugar exports are also not happening at the desired pace. Several sugar mills are either not voluntarily willing to export sugar against their allocated export quotas or do not find it viable enough to do so.

Therefore, in order to ensure that all mills fulfill their allocated export quotas, ISMA has requested that the Government enforce the quotas. 
 
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