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SUGAR

Current season’s sugar production estimated to be about 307 lakh tonne
Tuesday, 22 January, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The sugar production in India in the current season was estimated to be about 307 lakh tonne, against the first advance estimates of 315 lakh tonne released by ISMA (the Indian Sugar Mills Association) in October 2018. This is after considering estimated diversion of 5 lakh tonne of sugar into production of ethanol through B heavy molasses.

As is the practice, the association has procured the satellite images of cane area already harvested and remaining unharvested area in the fields, across the country during the mid-season, i.e., in the second week of January 2019.

The sugar production was on the basis of these images of harvested and balance area, trend of yields and sugar recoveries achieved till now, as also the expected yield/sugar recovery in the balance period of the sugar season.

Till January 15, 2019, 510 sugar mills in the country produced 146.86 lakh tonne of sugar, compared with 135.57 lakh tonne produced on the corresponding date of last year, i.e., the current year’s production is 8.32 per cent ahead of last year’s production. This is because the mills have started earlier this season, even though the whole year’s sugar production will be less than last year.

As on January 15, 2019, 117 sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh were operating, and they crushed 382.1 lakh tonne of sugarcane and produced 41.93 lakh tonne of sugar. 

Estimates based on satellite images procured in January 2019, as also considering the reduction in yield and increased sugar recovery percentage this year, mills in the state are expected to produce a total of 112.86 lakh tonne in sugar season (SS) 2018-19, against 120.45 lakh tonne produced in SS 2017-18.

In case of Maharashtra, the 188 sugar mills which are operating as of now have produced 57.25 lakh tonne of sugar till January 15, 2019. This is seven lakh tonne higher than last year’s production as on this date, when 183 mills were in operation, as sugar mills in the current season started about 10-15 days earlier this season and are expected to close earlier. 

As per the second advance estimates of ISMA, Maharashtra is expected to produce 95 lakh tonne in SS 2018-19, which is same as the first advance estimates made by ISMA in September 2018. In SS 2017-18, Maharashtra had, however, produced 107.23 lakh tonne.

The other major sugar-producing state, viz Karnataka, is expected to produce 42 lakh tonne of sugar in SS 2018-19, against SS 37.52 lakh tonne produced in SS 2017-18. 

Till January 15, 2019, Karnataka has produced 26.76 lakh tons of sugar with 65 sugar mills in operation. On the corresponding date of the last season, sugar production in the state was 21.35 lakh tonne.

As per the second advance estimates, the other states, viz Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, Odisha and Uttarakhand are expected to produce 62 lakh tonne, which is about 2.5 lakh tonne more than last season’s production from these states.

Sugar production as on January 15, 2019 in Tamil Nadu was two lakh tonne; Gujarat was 5.30 lakh tonne; Bihar 3.24 lakh tonne; Andhra Pradesh and Telangana 3.10 lakh tonne; Punjab 2 lakh tonne; Haryana 2.20 lakh tonne, Uttarakhand 1.35 lakh tonne and Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh 1.65 lakh tonne.

Considering the trend of sugar exports, it is expected that sugar mills could be able to export about 30-35 lakh tonne of sugar in SS 2018-19 against the allocated MIEQ (minimum indicative export quota) of 50 lakh tonne, unless the export quota is backed up by the Government with some force or penalty for the sugar mills who are not exporting against their quotas.

Cane price arrears as on December 31, 2018 was around Rs 19,000 crore, including Rs 2,800 crore in arrears from the previous season. This is substantially higher than the arrears last season as on December 31, 2017 of around Rs 10,600 crore.
 
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