MUMBAI, 18 May 2020: Sugar mills across the country have recorded a drop in production of sugar by 61.54 lakh tonnes at 264.65 lakh tonnes of sugar produced between 1 October 2019 and 15 May 2020, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a release.
During the same period last year, sugar mills produced 326.19 lakh tonnes.
As on 15 May 2020, 63 sugar mills are crushing sugarcane, as compared to 38 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane on 15 May 2019, ISMA underlined.
One of the major reason for this drop is production of sugar in Maharashtra mill, which has recorded a drop of close to 45% during the period.
Maharashtra records biggest drop of 46.3 lakh tonnes
In Maharashtra, sugar production till 15 May 2020 was recorded at 60.87 lakh tonnes, a whooping drop of almost 46.3 lakh tonnes, as compared with 107.15 lakh tonnes produced in 2018-19 SS.
In the current 2019-20 SS, 145 mills have already closed their crushing operations in the State and only one sugar mill is operating, while last year on the corresponding date, crushing season had already concluded by 30 April 2019.
UP sugar mills records growth of 5.48 lakk tonnes
Sugar mills based in Uttar Pradesh have produced 122.28 lakh tonnes of sugar as on 15 May 2020, which is 5.48 lakh tonnes higher than the production of 116.80 lac tons produced by them last year on the corresponding date. This production is the highest ever sugar production in the State, surpassing 120.45 Lac tons produced in 2017-18 sugar season (SS).
Out of 119 mills operated this year, 73 mills have ended their crushing and 46 mills continue their operations, compared to 28 mills which were operating on 15 May 2019 last year.
Factories in East UP have already closed their crushing operations for the current season. About 40% of the factories in Central UP are operating, while about 70% of the factories are operating in West UP. Most of the operating factories are expected to close by the end of this month, however, a few may continue till 1st week of June’ 2020.
Crushing season has got prolonged due to lockdown
Crushing season has got prolonged in the State as most of the Gur / Khandsari units have closed their operations prematurely due to lockdown, due to which significant portion of cane that would have gone to them, have been diverted to the sugar mills for crushing in the current season.
Almost 80% of the Gur/ Khandsari units in the State are primarily located in Western and Central U P, thereby increasing supply of sugarcane for crushing in the sugar mills in these regions of the State.
Karnataka sugar mills output recorded at 33.82 lakh tonnes
All the operating sugar mills in Karnataka had closed their crushing operations by 30 April 2020 and have produced 33.82 lakh tonnes of sugar. However, few mills might operate in the special season commencing July 2020.
Last year during the special season, Karnataka mills had produced 1.05 lakh tonnes of sugar. As compared to the above, 43.25 lakh tonnes was produced in 2018-19 SS on the corresponding date.
Tamil Nadu too recorded a drop of 1.51 lakh tonnes
Till 15 May 2020, sugar production in the State was 5.65 lakh tonnes, a drop of 1.51 lakh tonnes, as compared with 7.16 lakh tonnes produced on the corresponding date last year. As on date, in Tamil Nadu, nine mills are in operation, out of 24 sugar mills which operated this season.
Of the 32 sugar mills, 30 mills had ended their operations and only two mills were in operation as on 15 May 2019, last year. Last year, during the special season, 2.13 lakh tonnes were produced by mills in Tamil Nadu.
Sugar production down in Gujarat at 9.28 lakh tonnes
All the factories in Gujarat have closed their crushing operations for the current season and have produced 9.28 lakh tonnes tons of sugar as compared to 11.21 lakh tonnes of sugar produced in 2018-19 SS.
Other states produces 32.75 lakh tonnes of sugar as on May 15
The remaining States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have collectively produced 32.75 lac tons till 15 May, 2020. As on date, 5 mills are operating in Haryana, while one mill is operating in Uttarakhand, which are expected to close their crushing operations shortly.
Over 42 lakh tonnes of sugar export contact have been booked
As per market sources, contracts for export of 42 lakh tonnes have been made till beginning of May 2020. As per reports available from mills and ports, about 36 lakh tonnes of sugar have moved/dispatched from the mills for export, ISMA release added.
Contracts for export of sugar are being signed, for various destinations, with major quantities being signed for exports to Indonesia and Iran. Shipments are also happening and are expected to normalize in the days to come.
Govt urges mills to divert mills to produce Ethanol
Centre has urged the mills for diversion of excess sugarcane and sugar for production of fuel Ethanol as a long term solution for addressing the problem of excess sugar stock. It is already well accepted by the ISMA, as augmentation in Ethanol capacity for the upcoming years is at different stages of progress / implementation.
ISMA said that, we believe that the three stakeholders i.e. sugar mills, OMC’s and commercial banks should enter into a tripartite agreement for optimum utilization of the policies and incentives to increase the production of Ethanol in coming years.
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