India’s sugar production may fall 19% in 2019-20: ISMA

India’s 2019-20 sugar production is set to fall by 19 per cent over previous year, industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in its first estimate of sugar production for 2019-20.

India is expected to produce 268.5 lakh tonnes sugar in 2019-20 as against 331.61 lakh tonnes produced in the previous year.

A press release from ISMA said: “The total sugar production during 2019-20 sugar season would be around 268.5 lakh tonnes without considering the impact of sugar reduction due to diversion of B heavy molasses/ sugarcane juice to ethanol.”

In July 2019, ISMA had released its preliminary estimates of sugar production at 282 lakh tonne for 2019-20 sugar season, based on the first survey of satellite mapping carried out in June 2019, assuming normal South West Monsoon in 2019. Diversion of B-heavy molasses and sugarcane juice was then not considered for their impact on sugar production, the report added.

On the basis of the second set of satellite images of sugarcane crop acreage across the country procured in the latter part of October 2019, ISMA has now estimated the total cane acreage at 48.31 lakh hectares, which is about 12 per cent less than 2018-19 SS on pan India basis of 55.02 lakh hectares.

ISMA now reviewed its first advance estimates of sugar production for 2019-20 sugar season considering the estimates of sugarcane acreage, yields, recovery, rainfall and other relevant factors.

“As per satellite images of October 2019 and the fact that we did not have normal rainfall, sugar production during the current 2019-20 sugar season is expected to be lower than what was expected about 4 months back. The crop in the two main sugarcane growing states — Maharashtra and Karnataka — which contribute around 35-40 per cent of country’s sugar, have been adversely impacted due to various reasons,” said the industry body’s press release.

The sugarcane acreage in Uttar Pradesh, the leading sugarcane and sugar producing state in the country is seen to be slightly lower, as compared with 2018-19 sugar season. Taking into account the crop condition, weather conditions and area under the high yielding cane varieties in the state, an improvement in yield per hectare is expected. Hence, sugar production in UP in 2019-20 sugar season is estimated to be around 120 lakh tonnes, which is more or less at the same level of 118.21 lakh tonnes produced in 2018-19 sugar season.

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