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On Dec 31, 485 sugar mills operated in India, producing 103.26 lakh ton
Friday, 05 January, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
As on December 31, 2017, 485 sugar mills were in operation in India, producing 103.26 lakh ton of sugar, as compared to 81.91 lakh ton produced upto December 31, 2016, when 441 mills were operating. This was 26 per cent higher as compared to the production for the corresponding period of the previous season. The difference was higher at almost 30 per cent, as on December 15, 2017 over the same time last year.

The increase of 21.35 lakh ton upto December 31, 2017 over last year is on expected lines.  The Indian Sugar Mills’ Association’s (ISMA) estimate of 251 lakh ton of sugar production in sugar season (SS) 2017-18 is 48 lakh ton more than the very low sugar production achieved last year of only 203 lakh ton.  Out of this expected increase of 48 lakh ton, 21.35 lakh ton has come up upto December 2017 and the balance increase of about 27 lakh ton will come in the next 3-4 months. The estimated production of 251 lakh ton will get fully consumed domestically when the domestic consumption this year is estimated at around 250 lakh ton.

The increase was basically from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, which produced seven lakh and 13 lakh ton, respectively, more than last year.  Overall, these two states would be contributing 13 and 32 lakh ton, respectively, in the whole season, of the estimated higher production of 48 lakh ton.

In Maharashtra, 180 sugar mills, which are in operation, have produced 38.24 lakh ton till December 31, 2017, as against 120 sugar mills which produced 25.35 lakh ton last year. From the beginning of the season and till December 31, 2017, the average sugar recovery percentage in the State stands at 10.23 per cent as against 10.29 per cent achieved for the corresponding period of SS 2016-17.

In Uttar Pradesh, 116 sugar mills are in operation and they have crushed about 333 lakh ton of sugarcane and produced 33.80 lakh ton as on December 31, 2017, with an average recovery of 10.15 per cent. In SS 2016-17, the same number of sugar mills were in operation on December 31, 2016 and they crushed around 272 lakh ton of cane to produce 26.78 lakh ton of sugar with an average recovery of 9.87 per cent.

Sixty-two sugar mills in Karnataka are in operation on December 31, 2017, who have produced 16.17 lakh ton of sugar, as compared to 15.43 lakh ton produced by 56 sugar mills in SS 2016-17 on December 31, 2016.

In Gujarat, 17 sugar mills are operating for SS 2017-18 and they have produced 3.70 lakh ton of sugar till December 31, 2017. In SS 2016-17, 20 sugar mills were in operation on December 31, 2016, who had produced 3.62 lakh ton of sugar till that date.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 21 sugar mills have produced 1.90 lakh ton of sugar till December 31, 2017, and this is 0.16 lakh ton less than the sugar produced by 25 mills in SS 2016-17 till December 31, 2016.  

In Tamil Nadu, 20 sugar mills are in operation as compared to 34 mills operated on December 31 last year.  Sugar mills in Tamil Nadu have produced 1.70 lakh ton of sugar till December 31, 2017 as against 1.86 lakh ton produced last year on the corresponding date.

Mills of Bihar produced 1.65 lakh ton, Haryana 1.80 lakh ton, Punjab 1.60 lakh ton, Uttarakhand 1.20 lakh ton and Madhya Pradesh 1.30 lakh ton, till December 31, 2017.

As per information available, as against three lakh ton of raw sugar permitted by the government in September 2017, to be imported and processed into white sugar by December 15, 2017, only 2.35 lakh ton of raw sugar have been imported. Out of this, about two lakh ton of white sugar have been produced from the imported raws by the mills.

With an opening balance of about 38.76 lakh ton as on October 1, 2017, estimated sugar production of 251 lakh ton and two lakh ton of white sugar produced out of imported raw sugar, the total availability in the country during SS 2017-18 is expected to be about 291.76 lakh ton. Against this, considering a demand growth of around two per cent, sugar consumption during SS 2017-18 is estimated at 250 lakh ton and thus, the closing stock at the end of September 30, 2017 is expected to be about 41.76 lakh ton. This will be almost similar to the opening balance of this year and will be just sufficient to meet the first two months’ domestic consumption.

Based on satellite images of the cane area remaining to be harvested, trend of recovery, yield and drawal percentage of sugarcane achieved so far, ISMA will come out with its second advance estimates of sugar production for SS 2017-18 in the third week of January 2018.

The sugar prices, which had fallen in the last couple of months, is witnessing an improvement in some parts of the country.  As per the report published by the ministry of consumer affairs, government of India, the wholesale sugar prices have improved in some parts of North and West India by Rs 30 to 100 per quintal of sugar.  Sugar sales is also witnessing a slight improvement in the last few days because of buying interest shown by the sugar traders.
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