INDIA - India’s sugar production has recorded a 56 per cent increase or 614,000 tonnes at 1.78 million tonnes as on November 30, 2014.
During the same period last year, sugar output was recorded at 1.14 million tonnnes, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.
As on November 30, 2014, 297 sugar mills had started their crushing operations across the country, as compared to 262 which were operating during last year at the same time.
509 sugar mills had undertaken sugarcane crushing operations in 2013-14 season.
Out of around 124 sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh (UP), 60 sugar mills have already started their crushing operations.
However, UP mills usually start only in the latter part of November and, therefore, only 120,000 tonnes of sugar has been produced by the mills till now in the current sugar season. As compared to this, at the same corresponding period last year, 24 sugar mills had started their crushing operations and it produced just about 12000 tonnes of sugar.
In Maharashtra, 148 sugar mills had started their crushing operations as on November 30, 2014 and it produced 1.05 million tonnes of sugar, as compared 119 sugar mills started their crushing operations in the same period last year producing 537,000 tonnes of sugar.
Karnataka produced 336,000 tonnes of sugar up to November 30, 2014, as compared to 328,000 tonnes of sugar produced during the same period last year.
However, as on November 30, 2014, 31 sugar mills were crushing cane, against 54 sugar mills last year in Karnataka.
The crushing operations in other states have just started and 160,000 tonnes of sugar has been produced in Gujarat by 17 sugar mills which started their crushing operations. However, in case of other states, there is a production of 115,000 tonnes tons as on November 30, which is slightly lower than last year at the corresponding period.
Due to surplus availability of sugar with sugar stocks held by the sugar mills as on October 1, 2014 of 7.5 million tonnes, implying a surplus of around 2 million tonnes, the domestic ex-mill prices have fallen and are prevailing at the lowest in the last couple of year.
India had announced incentives on production of raw sugar and exports thereof in February 2014 for 4 million tonnes of sugar up to September 2015.
The government has announced the incentive rate for such raw sugar production and exports up to September 30, 2014, but has not announced the incentive rate for October and November 2014.
The sugar production has picked up in full swing across the country and, therefore, it is expected that this government will very soon announce continuance of the incentive scheme from December 2014 onwards, ISMA said.
As compared to last year when the country had opened with 9.3 million tonnes of sugar stocks as on October 1, 2013, the opening stocks in 2013-14 season is lower at 7.5 million tonnes.
However, the Central Government had announced schemes in December 2013 and then in February 2014, to assist sugar industry so that the farmers get their payment.
These incentive schemes had ensured that the domestic sugar prices to remain does not crash and it in fact supported ex-mill sugar prices closer to the cost of production.
However, even though the surplus sugar is substantially less now than what it was last year at this time, the domestic ex-mill sugar prices are only falling almost on daily basis because of uncertainty on the timing of announcement of continuance of incentive scheme of raw sugar production and exports thereof.