New Delhi, March 17 | Sugar production increased in Maharashtra by over 68 per cent to 94.05 lakh tonnes till March 15 in the ongoing cane crushing season as compared to 55.85 lakh tonnes produced in the corresponding period of the previous year, as per the data released by the India Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the apex industry body, on Wednesday.
So far, around 502 sugar mills have operated during the current sugar season 2020-21 (October-September) across the coutry, producing 258.68 lakh tonnes of sugar as on March 15, 2021, which is 19.68 per cent higher than the 216.13 lakh tonnes output of the sweetener in the year ago period.
As on March 15, 2021, 171 mills have stopped crushing while 331 mills in the country are still on the job. Compared to that, 138 mills had stopped operations last year as on March 15, 2020 while 319 mills were operating at the time, the ISMA said.
Sugar production has increased in Maharashtra, but it is down in Uttar Pradesh this season. Around 120 sugar mills, which were in operation in Uttar Pradesh this season, have produced 84.25 lakh tonnes of sugar till March 15. During the same period last year, 118 sugar mills were operational in the state, producing 87.16 lakh tonnes of sugar.
Sugar production was 41.35 lakh tonnes in Karnataka till March 15, while it was 33.35 lakh tonnes in the same period a year ago. Considering the current situation in Karnataka and the upcoming special season in July-September, a total of around 42.5 lakh tonnes of sugar is expected to be produced in the state, said the industry body.
Gujarat has produced 8.49 lakh tonnes of sugar till March 15 as against 7.78 lakh tonnes last year. In Tamil Nadu, 4.01 lakh tonnes of sugar has been produced as compared to 4.12 lakh tonnes produced in the year ago period.
The remaining states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have collectively produced 26.53 lakh tonnes of sugar.
On the ethanol front, against the total LOI quantity of 325.53 crore litres, 80.10 crore litres of ethanol have been supplied as on March 8. Out of the total supply, about 78 per cent comprises ethanol made from sugarcane juice/B heavy molasses.
The country on an average has achieved a blending percentage of 7 per cent for the first time, while states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Bihar have achieved even higher blending percentage of up to 10 per cent.
To support the export programme, the government has allowed a swap between MAEQ (maximum admissible export quota) and domestic quota for 2020-21, which has received positive response from the millers. So far, 4.7 lakh tonnes of reallocations have been carried out by the government, the ISMA said.