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Indian sugar acreage to drop by 5% during 2016-17

24 Oct 2016

Indian sugar production will drop by 5 per cent during the 2016-17 sugar season, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in the first advance estimate released recently.

New Delhi: Indian sugar production will drop by 5 per cent during the 2016-17 sugar season, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA)  said in the first advance estimate released recently.

On the basis of the September 2016 satellite images, total cane acreage at 4.99 million hectares, which is about 5 per cent less than 2015-16 sugar season (SS) on pan India basis, ISMA said in the estimate.

 However, ISMA also said that as per second set of satellite images, sugar production in 2016-17 SS is estimated at 23.37 million tonnes, around 100,000 tonnes higher as compared to the preliminary estimates made in July 2016 at 23.26 million tonnes.

The estimate has been calculated on the basis of second set of satellite images of sugarcane crop acreage across the country procured in the middle of September 2016, ISMA has calculated its first advance estimates of sugar production during 2016-17 sugar season.  The same has been based on estimates of sugarcane acreage, yields, recovery and cane drawal. 

In July 2016, ISMA had released its preliminary estimates of sugar production for 2016-17 SS, based on the first survey of satellite mapping carried out in June 2016.

Maharashtra sugarcane acreage to increase by 30,000 hectares

The total cane acreage in Maharashtra is estimated to be 810,000 hectares (0.30 hectares more than the preliminary estimates made in July 2016), down 23 per cent as compared to last year.  During 2016-17 SS, it is estimated that yield per ha. may be more or less at the same level as that of last year.  Due to increase in area as compared to preliminary estimates, it is estimated that sugar production may go up by 100,000 tonnes from the previous estimates made in July 2016.

Sugar production in Maharashtra during 2016-17 SS, is estimated at 6.27 million tonnes, 25 per cent less than actual sugar production in Maharashtra of 8.41 million tonnes in 2015-16 SS.  State of Maharashtra has received 5 per cent more than normal rainfall during the SW monsoon of 2016, increasing water availability in all major reservoirs to provide water for irrigation in sugarcane producing Districts.  Good amount of rains in cane grand growth period would help in improvement of sugar recovery per cent than what was expected earlier. However, above estimates are based on sugar recovery per cent of 11.05 per cent, significantly lower to 11.3 per cent achieved in 2015-16 SS.

UP sugar sowing stagnant at 2.3 MN Hectares

Second set of satellite images also reveal that sugarcane area in Uttar Pradesh (UP) is expected to be more or less same that of previous season i.e. at 2.31 million hectares.  Though there were poor rainfall in the initial months monsoon season, rains in the latter part of SW monsoon would help in sugarcane yield, resulting in higher sugarcane production in 2016-17 SS.  Since sugar mills have cleared cane price of farmers to large extent, it is expected that the drawal per cent towards sugar production would also increase in 2016-17 SS and cane diversion to other sweeteners like gur and khandsari may fall.  Also, the acreage under the high yielding and high recovery variety Co0238 is much more than last year.  Accordingly, sugar production in 2016-17 is estimated at 7.66 million tonnes, as compared to 6.84 million tonnes produced in 2015-16 SS.

Sugarcane acreage in Karnataka dropped by 19%

Sugarcane acreage in Karnataka has dropped by 19  in 2016-17 SS as compared to previous season. As compared to the cane area of 510,000 hectares in 2015-16 SS, sugarcane area in 2016-17 SS is expected to be about 415,000 hectares.  Due to drought like situation during the cane plantation period, cane yield and cane production is expected to drop by 5 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively.  Sugar production in 2016-17 SS is estimated at 3.19 million tonnes, as compared to 4.07 million tonnes produced in 2015-16 SS.

Tamil Nadu sugarcane acreage up marginally

The rainfall in the entire State of Tamil Nadu during pre-monsoon and South West Monsoon period has been good. Around 265,000 hectares are expected to be under sugarcane cultivation, which is marginally higher to 2015-16 SS. Sufficient rainfall in the monsoon period is expected to help increase sugarcane yields and sugar recovery.  Therefore, it is estimated that the State will produce around 15.6 lakh tons of sugar in 2016-17, which will be about 2 lac tons higher than 2015-16 SS.

Sugarcane acreage in other states during 2016-17

As regards States like Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, sugar production in 2016-17 SS is either slightly higher than previous year or at the same level as that of last year.

Sugar production in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh is expected to increase in 2016-17 SS, as compared to previous season.  During 2016-17 SS, Bihar is expected to produce 5.79 lac tons, Uttarkhand to produce 329,000 tonnes and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh would together produce 437,000 tonnes.

In 2015-16 SS (till 15th September), sugar mills have produced 25.05 million tonnes of sugar and it is expected that mills may produce another 50,000 tonnes in the remaining 15 days, taking the total production in 2015-16 SS to 25.1 million tonnes.

Sugar sales lower during 2015-16 sugar season

Sugar sales during 2015-16 SS have been at lower as compared to 2014-15 SS.  The main reason for the drop in sales is the fact that sugar sales in the previous season i.e., 2014-15 SS had already witnessed a very steep abnormal jump from the previous year.  Hence, there has been a correction this year.

Till the end of August 2016, sugar mills have despatched 22.65 million tonnes, which was 23.7 million tonnes to end of August last year.  ISMA is estimating a higher sugar sales of 2.3-2.4 million tonnes in September due to festival season and the pressure on some sugar mills to sell more sugar to achieve the stock levels of 37 per cent by end of September’16 as per Government’s direction, which usually is on an average of around 2.0-2.1 million tonnes.  

Accordingly, it is expected that domestic sales till September end i.e. for the 2015-16 SS, may be around 25.0-25.1 million tonnes (as against 25.6 million tonnes last year).  This will leave a closing balance of around 7.5 million tonnes as on 30th September, 2016, which may be higher if 2.3-2.4 million tonnes is not sold by sugar mills.

With carry over stock of 7.5 million tonnes from 2015-16 SS and expected sugar production of 23.4 million tonnes in 2016-17, there will be enough sugar available in 2016-17 SS to meet the domestic demand of about 25.6 million tonnes (considering a demand growth 2.5 per cent) in the next season.  There will thus be carry forward stocks of around 5.2 million tonnes for 2017-18 sugar season, as on 1st October, 2017.  

As per past records, sugar mills produce on an average 1.8-2.0 million tonnes in the first two months of the season i.e. October and November.  Accordingly, this expected sugar production of 2.0 million tonnes in the first two months of 2017-18 season would supplement the expected carry forward stock of 5.2 million tonnes.  Furthermore, with normal monsoon across the country, including in major sugarcane producing States like Maharashtra and North Karnataka, sowing of sugarcane is back to normal and, therefore, 2017-18 SS is expected to give surplus sugar production again.

Considering healthy opening balance of 7.5 million tonnes and estimated sugar production of 23.4 million tonnes in 2016-17 SS, country would have a sufficient sugar stocks in 2017-18 SS.   Therefore, committee of ISMA unanimously agreed that there is no need to import sugar.

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