With 47 lakh tonnes of unsold stock already in its kitty, Maharashtra is looking at a record sugar output this season. Maharashtra sugar commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad told Financial Express that the state is expected to produce a record 115 lakh tonnes of sugar by the end of the current season.
Maharashtra’s sugar season of 2021-22 has entered its last phase, with mills already having crushed 784 lakh tonnes of cane to produce 755.15 lakh quintals of sugar, with a sugar recovery rate of 10.08% till date.
Around 1,096 lakh tonnes of cane is available for crushing this season. Last season, Maharashtra had crushed 1,014 lakh tonnes of cane and produced 106 lakh tonnes of sugar. Around 187 mills have participated in the season and 15 lakh tonnes of sugar is expected to be diverted for production of ethanol, as the state is expected to produce 120 crore litres of the fuel additive.
Mills will begin shutting down in the next 20 days, having completed crushing operations for the season. Around 68 mills are slated to stop operations by March-end, the sugar commissioner said. Another 86 mills will shut down by the end of April and another 43 factories will have completed crushing by May 31. The average number of crushing days for the entire season is 145 days, with a maximum of 228 days required for crushing by some factories, while some may complete operations within 97 days.
The commissioner said that his department has been working to ensure that all the cane is crushed before time and following up in regions including Jalna, Parbhani and Satara regions, where cane is available in excess quantity. Meanwhile, mills have exported 30.68 lakh tonnes sugar till January of the ongoing 2021-22 season that started from October 1, trade body All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA) said. Mills have contracted to export 46 lakh tonnes sugar without the government subsidy so far in this season.