New Delhi, May 3 : Sugar output this year is expected to be around 330 lakh tonnes which will be about 5 lakh tonnes higher than last year, according to the Indian Sugar Mills Association.
Sugar mills across the country had produced 321.19 lakh tonnes of sugar between October 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019 which is about 9.36 lakh tonnes more than 311.83 lakh tonnes produced at the same time last year, the sugar body said. However, there is a concern about the slow down in sugar production in the last 15-20 days with large number of sugar mills shutting their crushing operations faster than what was seen in the last season, ISMA said.
''As compared to 110 sugar mills which were still crushing sugarcane on April 30 last year, only 100 sugar mills were crushing sugarcane on April 30 this year this year,'' it said. ''With lesser number of sugar mills working as of now, sugar production in the remaining part of the current season will be less than what was produced from May 1, 2018 to September 30, last year,'' it added. However, sugar recovery in Northern India has been substantially better than in the last season. In the other parts of the country, including Maharashtra and Karnataka too sugar recovery is better than last year, though not as high as achieved in North India.
Therefore, even though the quantum of sugarcane crushing in the current season is less than that in the last season, the sugar output in 2018-19 will be marginally higher than last year, ISMA said. According to ISMA, with the opening balance of 107 lakh tonnes on October 1, 2018, estimated production of 330 lakh tonnes and domestic consumption of 260 lakh tonnes as well as estimated exports of 30 lakh tonnes, sugar stocks at the end of the current sugar season September 30, are expected to be at a higher level of around 147 lakh tonnes.
The conglomerate of private sugar industries expressed concern over lower planting of sugarcane in Maharashtra owing to water deficiency in parts of the state and said that it will obtain satellite imagery in June to come out with estimates of sugarcane availability and sugar output in 2019-20. (UNI)