Earlier crushing operations of cane pushes up sugar production

Sugar production in the country has increased at a faster rate than last year and in first seven fortnights of the sugar season 15-16 which began in October last. 488 mills in the country have produced 11.09 million tonnes of sugar, 7.08 lakh tonnes higher than the sugar production of last year produced by the mills in the corresponding period in 2014-15 sugar season, said Indian Sugar Mills Association in a note.

The sugar mills have started their cane crushing operations earlier this year, and, therefore, despite lower availability of sugarcane as compared to last year, sugar production till now is higher. Improving sugar prices on the back of opening up of an export window backed by the government incentives, lower production estimates following lower cane acreage resulting in rising process in domestic market have incentivized higher crushing of cane.

Increase in production is due to higher crushing in Karnataka, UP and Maharashtra by 3.4 lakh tonnes, 2 lakh tonnes and 1 lakh tonnes, respectively compared to last year. ISMA also said, “Most of the sugar mills in Maharashtra will close earlier this year as compared to last season, mainly because of lower cane production therein".

Maharashtra has crushed about 415.9 lakh tonnes of sugarcane with 168 sugar mills under crushing operation and produced 44 lakh tonnes of sugar with 10.6% recovery. In Uttar Pradesh, which had not even announced price mills are supposed to pay farmers till yesterday, 116 sugar mills are in operation and have produced 27.07 lakh tonnes of sugar so far.

As per information available, said ISMA, “Sugar mills have contracted for export of 9 lakh tonnes of sugar against 80% of MIEQ i.e. 32 lakh tonnes fixed by Government of India. Against this, about 7 lakh tonnes of sugar have been moved from sugar mills for exports.”


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