INDIA - India’s sugar production output has recorded an increase of 2.8 million tonnes at 24.72 million tonnes during the sugar season of 2014-15 till March 2015.
During the same period last year, sugar output was recorded at 21.87 million tonnes, India Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement recently.
During the 2014-15 sugar season, out of 530 sugar mills 138 mills were shut and 392 were still working, as compared to 316 sugar mills working during the last sugar season. Of the 138 closed sugar mills, 41 are in Uttar Pradesh, 36 are in Maharashtra, 26 in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana and 10 in Karnataka.
In Maharashtra, sugar mills produced 9.36 million tonnes of sugar till March 31, 2015 from 79 sugar mills, as against 7.06 million tonnes produced during the corresponding period last season.
Sugar mills of Uttar Pradesh produced 6.36 million tonnes of sugar during the period, as compared to 5.91 million tonnes during the corresponding period last season.
During the period, 77 sugar mills were operating, as against 91 sugar mills operating last year at this time.
Sugar production in Karnataka was up to 4.25 million tonnes, as compared to 3.88 million tonnes produced last season on the corresponding period. Of the 64 sugar mills which crushed during 2014-15 SS, 54 are working as of now, against only 38 sugar mills were under operation during the last season.
In Bihar, all the 11 sugar mills have produced 525,000 tonnes of sugar, as compared to 512,000 tonnes produced till March 31, 2014. Out of the 20 sugar mills which started crushing operations in Gujarat production was down to 975,000 tonnes, as compared to 1.07 million tonnes produced during last year.
Sugar output was down in Tamil Nadu till March 2015 at 770,000 tonnes, as compared to 926,000 tonnes produced till March 2014.
Sugar mills in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana produced 860,000 tonnes of sugar, as against 947,000 tonnes produced last season same period. ISMA said despite government’s assistance of $64.11 (Rs 4000) per tonne on raw sugar exports, due to drop in futures price for raw sugar in the New York market, which also one of the lowest in the last seven years, not much sugar is getting exported.
With the anticipated higher sugar production in the current season as against the estimated consumption of 24.8 million tonnes, it is expected that sugar stocks at the end of 2014-15 season may surpass the normative requirement of 6 million tonnes, by 2.5 million tonnes more.
Cane price arrears across the country have reached an all-time record level of $2.72 billion (Rs 17000 crore) and with the depressed ex-mill prices of $32 to $35 per quintal (Rs 2100 to Rs 2200) in Western & Southern States and $37 to $39 per quintal (Rs 2300 to Rs 2400) in Northern States, mills are not able to generate funds to pay even FRP to the sugarcane farmers, ISMA stressed. The government should come forward with some strategy to help the ailing sugar industry; otherwise it would become difficult for the mills to survive, ISMA adds.