Sugarcane crushing by the four sugar factories in the district is expected to be much better this season compared to last year.

While there are apprehensions of sugarcane output dipping owing to successive spells of rain, it is likely to even out not affecting the total output.

The total crushing by the factories at Chodavaram, Etikoppaka, Tandava and Anakapalle is projected to be around 10.3 lakh tons. Chodavaram leads with 5.5 lakh tons, followed by Etikoppaka (2 lakh tons), Tandava (1.5 lakh tons) and Anakapalle (1.3 lakh tons), according to Assistant Cane Commissioner of north Coastal districts V. Venkata Rao.

This is considerably higher than last year’s crushing. The cane production last year was affected by lack of rain and the crushing fell drastically totalling a mere 5.38 lakh tons.

“Rain will have impact on the cane output this year. While in the rain-fed areas the production will increase by an average of about 5 tons an acre, it will fall by 2 to 3 tons in irrigated areas. Even there the crop will be affected where the fields lacked draining out,” says Mr. Venkata Rao. As a result this year is turning out to be reasonably good, he adds.

However, cane price continues to be a tricky issue. Last year with price in the international market shooting up and quoting Rs.4,000 a quintal in the country, factories raised cane price considerably. Though they began at around Rs.1,500 a ton, subsequently it went up to Rs.1,800 and finally touched Rs.2,200. This time sugar prices are ruling low. Sugarcane crushing by factories continues till April.

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