India expected to produce 31 mn tonnes of sugar in 21-22 season, says ISMA

Overall, around 5.45 million hectares of land have been brought under sugarcane this year across the country, which is 3 per cent more than the current sugar season.
India’s sugar production in 2021-22 season that will start from October is expected to be around 31 million tonnes, almost similar to the current year’s production of 30.9 million tonnes, even after accounting for 3.4 million tonnes of sugar diverted for producing ethanol, industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said today.

ISMA said that opening stock at the start of the 2021-22 sugar season from October is expected to be around 8.7 million tonnes, the lowest in the last four years.

The stocks are projected at 8.7 million tonnes after accounting for 26 million tonnes of domestic consumption and record exports of 7 million tonnes.

Though this opening stock is around 2 million tonnes less than the current year’s opening stock, it is much higher than the 4-4.5 million tonnes of ideal opening stock, which is equivalent to two months of consumption.

According to ISMA estimates, sugar production in Uttar Pradesh is expected to be 11.9 million tonnes in 21-22, while in Maharashtra, production is expected to be 12.1 million tonnes, Karnataka is expected to account for a production of 4.87 million tonnes, while other states are expected to contribute 5.46 million tonnes to the overall sugar production in the country.

Overall, around 5.45 million hectares of land have been brought under sugarcane this year across the country, which is 3 per cent more than the current sugar season.

The area under sugarcane is around 11 per cent more than last year in Maharashtra, while in UP it has gone up marginally by 0.21 per cent. In Karnataka, around 4.19 per cent more area has been brought under sugarcane in 21-22 as compared to the 2020-21 season.

ISMA said that in the ongoing sugar season that will end in September, around 2.1 million tonnes of sugar has been diverted towards making ethanol which in the coming sugar season will go up 3.4 million tonnes.

“In 2021-22, since the target of 10 per cent blending is expected to be achieved, about 4.5 billion litres of ethanol would be required, which will be about 1.17 billion litres more than the expected supplies in 2020-21. Assuming that most of the additional quantity of 1.17 billion litres will come from sugarcane juice and b-heavy molasses to meet the target, it will translate into diversion of about 1.3 million tonnes of more sugar as compared to previous year. This would mean a total of approx. 3.4 million tonnes of sugar will be diverted into ethanol next season,” ISMA said.

If this sugar would not have been diverted towards making ethanol it would have further added on to supplies.

ISMA said that opening stock in the 2021-22 season is expected to be 8.7 million tonnes, after accounting for 26 million tonnes of domestic consumption and 7 million tonnes of exports. This opening stock is around 2 million tonnes lower than the previous year, but much higher than the 4-4.5 million tonnes of ideal opening stock.

Meanwhile, in related development, sugar consumption in the country has grown in the first eight months (October to May) of the 2020-21 sugar season as compared to the same period last year.

Sources said around 17.4 million tonnes of sugar was consumed domestically in the first eight months of 2020-21 season, which was around 5.13 per cent more than the same period last year.

This rise in sales has come despite a second wave of COVID and general shutdown of shops and establishments.

“Unlike last year, the lockdown wasn’t so stringent this year and also households and sweet shops were better prepared as compared to last lockdown,” a senior industry official commented.



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