Crushing Season Ends: Sugar Output may Fall 10% Short of Govt Estimates
Pune: Sugar production is likely to fall short of the government’s estimate by about 10% even as the crushing season in Maharashtra draws to a close. While the central government had projected sugar production to be 22.5 million tonnes for 2016-17, the industry thinks actual production could be 20 million tonnes.
According to state government data, as on February 20, sugar mills in Maharashtra have produced 40.56 lakh tonnes of sugar compared to 65.62 lakh tonnes produced during the comparable period of the previous year.
Of the 150 sugar mills that had started cane crushing opera- tions this year, 124 mills have already closed due to non-availability of sugarcane. Only 26 mills are still producing sugar as against 121 mills that were in operation during the same period of the previous year.
According to Indian Sugar Mills Association, India’s sugar deficit as on February 15 had wi- dened to 15% compared to 10% on January 31. The trade body has pegged sugar consumption in 2016-17 to be in the range of 240243 lakh tonnes. The Union government has estimated India’s sugar production to be 22.5 million tonnes and has been closely observing the production and sales figures from Maharashtra, which will be the key factor dominating domestic sugar prices in 2017. OP Dhanuka, former president of ISMA said, “Now, it looks like the sugar production of the country may remain around 203 lakh tonnes. However, we will have sufficient sugar to take care of the domestic requirement and will not need any imports.”
Wholesale sugar prices have remained stable at about .₹ 40/kg.
OPDHANUKA Former president, ISMA We will have sufficient sugar to take care of the domestic requirement and will not need any imports