The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a comprehensive policy package of Rs 55 billion on 26th September 2018, to improve the liquidity of sugar mills and provide assistance for clearing cane arrears, which stand at Rs 130 billion for sugar season (SS) 2017-18.
Due to depressed market sentiments and crash in sugar prices, the liquidity position of sugar mills was adversely affected in the sugar season 2017-18 leading to accumulation of cane price dues of sugarcane farmers which reached an alarming level of about Rs 220 billion in May 2018, highest in the last five years.
In order to stabilize sugar prices at a reasonable level and to improve the liquidity position of the mills thereby enabling them to clear the cane price arrears of farmers, for the current sugar season 2017-18, Central Government took the slew of measures in past six months. In last month, the government increased prices of Ethanol produced from B heavy molasses and cane juice to Rs 52.6 per litre and Rs 59.2 per litre respectively, from the previous Rs 47.3 litre.
“However, in SS 2018-19, with the export quota announced well in advance and a slew of measures including raw material subsidy and transport subsidy, exports are expected to get a boost,” CRISIL Research said in recent report.
Integrated mills typically earn higher margins than standalone sugar mills owing to the better operational economics of their distilleries and power segments with revenues from the distillery and power segments accounting for 9-10% each of overall revenues.
CRISIL expects EBITDA margins for its sample set of 24 companies (large proportion being integrated public listed entities) to improve to 600-800 bps in SS2018-19 from (5)-(7)% expected earlier to 0-2% in SS 2018-19.