India’s sugar production till the end of February 2020 declines by 22% to 19.5 million tonnes

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Sugar production till February 29, 2020, in the current sugar season (SS: Oct 2019-March 2020) has declined by 22 per cent to 19.48 million tonnes (MT), against 24.93 MT produced in the same period last season.

From October 1, 2019, till February 29, 2020, there were 453 sugar mills in operations, against 520 mills in the same period last sugar season. Nearly, 68 mills across the country have ended operations by February 29, 2020, said Indian Sugar Mills’ Association (ISMA) on Tuesday.

In Maharashtra, production till February end was much lower at 5.7 MT, against 9.28 MT produced in the same period last season. In the current 2019-20 SS, of the 145 operating mills , 25 have ended crushing due to non-availability of cane in their area.

In Uttar Pradesh, 119 mills in operation, were producing 7.68 MT till February 29, against 7.38 MT produced by 117 mills as on February end last season.

In Karnataka, 63 mills have produced 3.26 MT, against 4.17 MT produced by 66 mills which operated till February 28, 2019. During the current season, of the 63 mills in operation, 32 have already ended crushing. Last year, of the 66 mills in operations, 34 sugar mills had ended crushing operations, ISMA highlighted.

During this period, the pace of daily crushing this year is much less than last year, ISMA pointed out.

Tamil Nadu’s 21 mills started crushing so far during 2019-20 SS and produced 3.20 lakh tonnes, against 4.63 lakh tonnes by 32 sugar mills in 2018-19 SS till February end.

Gujarat has produced 6.83 lakh tonnes till date and of the 15 mills, one has ended crushing. Last year, 16 mills in operation were producing 8.79 lakh tonnes till February end, of which two had stopped crushing.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 18 mills have produced 3.65 lakh tonnes, against 5.70 lakh tonnes produced by 25 mills in 2018-19 SS. Of these, four have stopped crushing. Last year at this period, of 25 mills in operation, one had stopped operations.

In Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, production has been in the order of 5.74 lakh tonnes, 2.85 lakh tonnes, 4.50 lakh tonnes, 4.30 lakh tonnes and 3.30 lakh tonnes, respectively. According to market reports, contracts for exports have been made for a quantity of 35 lakh tonnes, of which 22-23 lakh tonnes have been moved out of the mills for shipment.

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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