Better sugar output likely this year: ISMA

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New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) On the back of higher cultivation area, sugar production is expected to be better this year, as per the preliminary estimates of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on Monday.

The area under cane cultivation is up by 8 per cent, ISMA said. So, sugar production in 2018-19 (starting October) may reach 35-35.5 million tonnes, which is 2.8-3.3 million tonnes higher than in 2017-18, ISMA said.

In 2017-18, the production was 32.2 million tonnes. An addition of 50,000-60,000 tonnes is expected in the ongoing sugarcane crushing in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which wil go on till September, said the industry body in a statement.

Based on the satellite images obtained in June, ISMA said the sugarcane acreage is 5.43 million hectares for season 2018-19, which is 8 per cent higher than that in the previous season.

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The leading cane-producing state of Uttar Pradesh is estimated to have higher sugarcane area at 2.34 million hectares in 2018-19 as against 2.33 million hectares the previous year.

In Maharashtra, cane acreage has increased by 25 per cent to 1.14 million hectares in 2018-19 and the production is expected at 11-11.5 million tonnes.

The western state recorded the highest yield of about 108 tonnes per hectare in 2017-18 due to well-distributed and timely rainfall in 2016 and 2017, good water availability in reservoirs and higher-than-normal percentage of plant cane.

Despite all conditions being similar, the yield is expected to be lower this year due to higher percentage of ratoon cane (a new crop that grows from the stubble of harvested crop).

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In 2018-19, sugarcane production may touch 4.48 million tonnes and 0.9 million tonnes in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, respectively.

ISMA will release its first advance estimates of sugar production in September after considering rainfall in July-September, the water situation in reservoirs and a second set of satellite images across the country.

–IANS

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