India’s sugar output down 30.22% in Oct-Dec 2019: ISMA

The country’s sugar production has fallen sharply by 30.22 per cent to 7.79 million tonnes in the first three months of current marketing year ending September, but ex-mill prices have remained stable so far, helping mills clear cane payment to farmers on time, ISMA said.

However, sugar exports are happening at a good pace, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) quoting market data said, adding mills have so far contracted for shipment of over 2.5 million tonnes of sugar under the government’s MAEQ (Maximum Admissible Export Quantity Quota).

Ex-mill sugar prices have remained steady in the range of Rs 3,250-3,350 per quintal in north India and at Rs 3,100-3,250 per quintal in the south India, the industry body added.

“Since the centre has not increased the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for 2019-20 as also the state governments like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab have not hiked the State Advised Price (SAP), ex-mill prices remain stable, mills are in a better position to be able to pay cane price to the farmers on time,” ISMA said in a statement.

Releasing the latest production data, it said the country’s total sugar production has dropped to 7.79 million tonnes till December 2019 from 11.17 million tonnes in the same period of the 2018-19 marketing year (October-September).

In its first estimate, the industry body had pegged sugar production lower at 26 million tonnes this year from 33.16 million tonnes in 2018-19. The second estimate will be released next month.

Sugar production in Maharashtra — the country’s largest sugar producing state — dropped to 1.65 million tonnes till December 2019, as against 4.45 million tonnes in the same period last year, the data showed.

The average sugar recovery in Maharasthra has declined to 10 per cent from 10.5 per cent achieved in the year-ago period due to loss of sucrose content in the flood-affected sugarcane crop.

Whereas production in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s second largest producing state, rose to 3.31 million tonnes so far when compared to 3.10 million tonnes a year ago.

The production in Karnataka, the country’s third largest sugar producing state, declined sharply to 1.63 million tonnes as against 2.10 million tonnes in the said period. Sugar production in Gujarat stood at 2,65,000 tonnes, Bihar at 2,33,000 tonnes, Punjab at 1,60,000 tonnes, Haryana at 1,35,000 tonnes, Uttarakhand at 1,06,000 tonnes, Madhya Pradesh at 1,00,000 tonnes, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at 96,000 tonnes and Tamil Nadu at 95,000 tonnes till December 2019, the data showed.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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