Sugar production estimate revised up to 340 lakh tonnes

March 23, 2024 07:52 pm | Updated 07:52 pm IST - COIMBATORE

An auto rickshaw loaded with sugarcane stalks parked at a market in Hyderabad on March 9, 2024. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP)

An auto rickshaw loaded with sugarcane stalks parked at a market in Hyderabad on March 9, 2024. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP) | Photo Credit: NOAH SEELAM

Sugar production till March 15 this season (which started on October 1, 2023) is 280.79 lakh tonnes, just about two lakh tonnes less than during the same period last season.

According to the Indian Sugar and Bio Energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA), the initial production projection of 330.5 lakh tonnes for the current sugar year is revised to 340 lakh tonnes. This is mainly because cane yields are higher than expected in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

While 371 mills are continuing operations this season, only 325 were functioning by this time last season. The Association said that since the crushing rate is low because of lower diversion to ethanol, the crushing capacity is curtailed and that is why a larger number of mills are functioning even now compared with last year.

ISMA has said that it wants to work closely with the government to find solutions to the challenges faced by the industry.

It is seeking measures to use the surplus B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for ethanol production and is also urging the government to take into consideration the economic implications of the surplus stock. The industry will face financial troubles if there is idle inventory. It has also sought the support of the government to facilitate smooth transition of surplus molasses and ethanol into the ethanol blending programme to sustain operations.

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