India. Sugar production till November 15 up by 79% - ISMA


India's sugar production in first 45 days of the 2016-17 crushing season is up by 79% as compared to corresponding period of previous year, industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has said in a release. Early start of the crushing season is the main reason for higher production, it said.

ISMA said that 13.73 lakh tonnes of sugar has been produced in the first 45 days of the current season as compared to 7.67 lakh tonnes in the first 45 days of last year.

Crushing for sugar season 2017-18 has started earlier than previous seasons. As on 15th November 2017, 313 sugar mills were already crushing as compared to 222 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane last year on 15th November 2016.
The main contributors to the higher production of sugar are the sugar mills in U.P. and the sugar mills in Maharashtra.

UP sugar mills have produced 5.67 lakh tonnes of sugar upto 15th November 2017 as against 1.93 lakh tonnes produced last year. 78 sugar mills were crushing sugarcane as on 15th November 2017 as against 55 sugar mills last year same time.

"Similarly, in Maharashtra as against 95 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane last year as on 15th November 2016, when 1.92 lakh tonnes of sugar was produced, 137 sugar mills were crushing sugarcane this year on 15th November 2017 and 3.26 lakh tonnes have already been produced," stated the ISMA release.

The third largest sugar producer, namely, Karnataka has produced almost the same quantity as they produced last year.

The situation in the other States is almost similar to last year.

ISMA has claimed that there has seen a fall of Rs. 100-200 per quintal in ex mill sugar prices in various parts of the country, mostly reported for the last year’s sugar, which is generally sold at a discount whenever the new season’s sugar comes into the market.

The Government has extended the stock holding limit on traders by 2 months upto 31st December 2017, as compared to 6 months which was done in the last three occasions since April 2016.

The trade body has claimed that the offtake of sugar in the country has fallen.

"Instead of witnessing an increase in sugar sales in the festival months of September and October 2017, one has seen that the poor offtake from the sugar mills has resulted in marginally lower sales of around 41 lac tons, as compared to about 42 lakh tonnes of sugar sales in the same two months last year. With higher production in 2017-18 SS, the sugar sales need to improve to ensure better cash flows and a stable sugar prices," said ISMA.

ISMA has requested the Government to withdraw the stock holding limits on sugar traders with immediate effect. "It has been submitted that with surplus sugar availability and lower sugar offtake than expected, continuance of stock holding limit on traders at this stage is affecting their buying interests. This will affect cash flows, which may prove detrimental to the interests of sugar producers and very soon may impact their paying capacity to the sugarcane farmers," said ISMA.

The Economic Times

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