T Sarita Reddy, president, Isma, said: “Doing away with the fund is not the right thing because many mills have taken a loan from it for development.” The money with the fund is of the sugar industry and it should be given back to the mills by way of interest rate subvention or some other form, she said.
Isma's downward revision follows analysis of satellite images of the area harvested for crushing up to January 10 and that yet to be harvested. Sugar production up to January 15 was 10.48 mt, around five% less than at this time last year.
According to sources in Isma, it also reduced the sugar year's consumption estimate from 25.5 mt earlier to 24.2 mt. The season began with opening stock of 7.7 mt but with revised production and consumption estimates, the closing stock has been revised downwards to an estimate of 4.85 mt at end-September 2017, from the earlier 5.5 mt. That, says Isma, is about two and a half months of consumption.
Isma field reports indicate cane sowing from Maharashtra and Karnataka is significantly higher as compared to the same period last year. Which means cane output in Maharashtra and Karnataka in the next season should be back to normal and mills would start early, from end-October 2017. Hence, “old sugar equivalent to 45-60 days is more than sufficient to cover the period before the new season’s sugar comes into the market”, stated Isma.