This is attributed to fall in output in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

 

NEW DELHI: India’s sugar production has declined by 26.15% to 10.88 million tonne till 15 January of the current marketing year. This is attributed to fall in output in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

According to industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), sugar output was 14.74 million tonne during October-15 January of the 2019-20 marketing year, which is October to September. In its first estimate, the Association had pegged sugar production lower at 26 million tonne for this year against 33.16 million tonne in 2018-19. The second estimate is expected to be released next month.

Sugar production in Maharashtra, which is the country’s largest sugar producing state, fell by 55.44 % to 2.55 million tonne till 15 January, as against 5.72 million tonne during the same period last year. About 139 sugar mills were in operation till 15 January as against 189 mills during the same period last year.

In Uttar Pradesh, the second largest producing state, sugar production rose to 4.37 million tonne so far, compared to 4.19 million tonne a year ago. About 119 mills were operating and average sugar recovery was 10.83% so far, according to the details provided by the ISMA.

The production in Karnataka declined by 18.16% to 2.19 million tonne as against 2.67 million tonne during the same period. Similarly, in Gujarat, the production touched 3,72,000 tonne, Bihar at 3,30,000 tonne, Punjab 2,05,000 tonne, Haryana 2,00,000 tonne, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at 1,85,000 tonne, as per the data.

Regarding ethanol, the ISMA said about 156 crore litres have been finalised for supply to oil marketing companies after the first tender. Ethanol made from B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice is about 61.63 crore litres and 10.60 crore litres, respectively. The second round of tender is expected to be floated by the companies soon.

This is to be noted that Indian sugar mills are gradually shifting towards ethanol production in the wake of surplus sugar production in the last few years. Ethanol is increasingly becoming popular as green, non-polluting fuel. The government has been asking sugar mill owners to switch over to ethanol production in order to tackle the problems stemming from surplus production and falling prices. The state governments are being asked to expedite the permission following requests from sugar mills for converting from sugar to ethanol, within a week or so.

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