295 lakh tonnes sugar production expected this year: ISMA

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New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Sugar production this year is expected to touch 295 lakh tonnes as higher production is likely in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the India Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said on Wednesday.

The sugar production on February 28 for the sugar season 2017-18 starting October has been 230.5 lakh tonnes, ISMA said after revising its second advance estimate of sugar production in 2017-18.

“Considering that 479 sugar mills are still crushing and also taking into the account higher yields reported from the two states (Maharashtra and Karnataka), ISMA has revised its estimates for the current season to 295 lakh tonnes of sugar,” ISMA said in a statement.

“Out of this, Uttar Pradesh is expected to produce 105.13 lakh tonnes, Maharashtra to produce 101.3 lakh tonnes and Karnataka 35.45 lakh tonnes and the rest of the sugar production is expected to come from the other states,” it added.

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ISMA represents private sugar mills in the country.

Last year, production fell to 203 lakh tonnes — 42 lakh tonnes in Maharashtra and 21.6 lakh tonnes in Karnataka — due to drought and the yields from both of these states were about 60 tonnes per hectare.

The average yields during the current season from Maharashtra and Karnataka are reported to be around 100 tonnes per hectare and 91 tonnes per hectare, respectively, ISMA said.

This year, the sugar surplus is expected to be 45 lakh tonnes against 250 lakh tonnes of domestic consumption.

ISMA has sought export of a part of the surplus, which will give extra cash flow to the sugar mills “to ensure better payment” to the farmers and reduction in the cane price arrears, which are “accumulating very fast to uncomfortable levels”.

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–IANS

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