Sugar production falls by 19%, says mills’ body

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New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) India’s sugar production from October 2016 to February 2017 is 162.45 lakh tonnes, a decline of 19 per cent compared with production of 199.43 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous year.

The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said drought in southern and western parts of the country in the last two years majorly impacted sugar cane production, including yield per hectare, in these region.

“This has been the major contributor towards substantially lower sugar production in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Gujarat also seems to have been affected, though to a lower extent, compared with other states in this region,” reads a release.

“Lower sugarcane availability has, therefore, resulted in earlier closure of sugar mills and lower sugar production compared with last year and compared with what was generally estimated by all stakeholders.”

According to ISMA, 257 mills were continuing crushing operations on February 28 this year compared with 390 mills on the same date last year.

“In Uttar Pradesh, 107 mills are continuing their operations. As of February 28, 2017, sugar mills have produced 62.46 lakh tonnes of sugar, which is 17 per cent higher compared with last year’s 53.51 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period,” said the ISMA release.

ISMA said 136 of the total 153 sugar mills in Maharashtra have stopped cane crushing operations whereas 17 are still working.

“Till February 28, these mills have produced 41.15 lakh tonnes of sugar, compared with 70.58 lakh tonnes last year during the corresponding period.”

“Almost all sugar mills, except the ones in Karnataka, have stopped crushing operations for 2016-17 fiscal and have produced 20.50 lakh tonnes of sugar till February 28.

“As against this, the state’s mills produced 36.15 lakh tonnes of sugar till February 28, 2016, when 46 mills were running.”

ISMA said 38 mills in Tamil Nadu produced 6.90 lakh tonnes of sugar as of February 28, 2017, compared with 5.28 lakh tonnes produced by 38 sugar mills till February 28, 2016.

“Andhra Pradesh and Telangana sugar mills have produced 4.30 lakh tonnes of sugar up to February 28, 2017. Last year, during the same period, there was a production of 6.51 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period.”

The release said “Gujarat mills have produced eight lakh tonnes of sugar and 12 sugar mills are operating as on February 28, 2017. Last year, 20 sugar mills were operating and produced 9.19 lakh tonnes of sugar on the corresponding date”.

In Bihar, 11 sugar mills have produced 4.30 lakh tonnes till February 28, 2017, compared with 4.49 lakh tonnes during the same period last year.

“In case of states like Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, sugar production till February 28, 2017, was 2.45 lakh tonnes, 4.50 lakh tonnes, 3.75 lakh tonnes and 3.70 lakh tonnes respectively. Sugar production in these states during the current season till February 28, 2017, is slightly higher than last year,” the release added.

ISMA said sugar sales by mills in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been similar to that of last year between October 2016 and January 2017.

However, the sales were lower for mills in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, mainly because of lower sugar availability there, said ISMA.

“In other parts, sugar sales have been similar to what they were last year in the first four months of the season,” ISMA said.

–IANS

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