Record sugar output in UP likely in 2017-18
Production likely to go up 10-20%
Uttar Pradesh is reportedly heading for a new record of sugar production for the 201718 crushing season, which begins next month.
A recent study from rating agency ICRA estimates UP's production at 9.7 million tonnes for the coming season. The data compiled by the All India Sugar Trade Association showed output at 8.7 mt in UP during SS 2016-17. This indicates mills in UP would produce 11.5 per cent more sugar in the coming season or nearly four times the state’s own consumption.
“Domestic production for SS 2018 is likely to increase by 18-20 per cent to 24-24.5 mt, driven principally by a recovery in cane availability in Maharashtra and North Karnataka, supported by monsoons, and an expected increase in sugar production in Uttar Pradesh to a new high of around 9.7 mt. However, sugar production in South Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is likely to remain impacted by consecutive seasons of poor rain,” went the ICRA study.
Farmers in UP adopted a higher yielding, Co0238, cane variety a few years earlier. The output is estimated at 10-20 per cent higher. “Sowing under this high yielding variety is significantly higher this year. So, despite a marginal increase in acreage, output is set to increase in 2017-18. So, sugar production in UP would definitely set a new record in the coming year. At this point, however, it is difficult to assess a particular figure (of sugar output),” said Abinash Verma, Director General, Indian Sugar Mills Association.
Large mills in UP have decided to advance cane crushing by one to two weeks to check early-variety cane diversion to jaggery units (kolhus) and khandsari factories. In the absence of running sugar mills, farmers, especially in western UP, harvest early varieties of cane for supplying to jaggery and khandsari units.
“Now, farmers have realised that sugar mills’ financial problems have eased, resulting in timely payment. With higher cane output estimated this year, mills might see an extended crushing season by one month. So, accumulating all these, sugar output in Uttar Pradesh is heading for a new record,” said BJ Maheshwari, Director, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries.