New Delhi, Dec 17 | Around 460 sugar mills in operation till December 15 in the current sugar season 2020-21 (October-September) have produced 73.77 lakh tonnes of sugar, up 27.96 lakh tonnes or 61 percent as compared to the sweetener produced in the corresponding year ago- period, as per the production data released by the ISMA on Thursday.
The apex sugar industry body, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement that 412 mills were in operation on the corresponding date last year.
As per the statement, 118 mills have produced 22.60 lakh tonnes of sugar till 15th December, 2020 in Uttar Pradesh,1.35 lakh tonnes higher than last year, when 119 sugar mills had together produced 21.25 lakh tonnes.
In Maharashtra, 173 sugar mills are in operation and they have produced 26.96 lakh tonnes of sugar till 15th December, 2020. In 2019-20 SS, 124 sugar mills were in operation as on 15th December, 2019 and they had produced 7.66 lakh tonnes.
This year’s production is about 19.30 lakh tonnes higher than the last year figure on the corresponding date. The higher production is because of earlier start of crushing operations in Maharashtra and higher availability of sugarcane in this season, said ISMA.
Similarly, in Karnataka, the third largest producer of sugar, 64 sugar mills are in operation who have produced 16.65 lakh tonnes of sugar till 15th December, 2020. This is about 6.03 lakh tonnes higher than the last year sugar production of 10.62 lakh tonnes in 2019-20 SS as on 15th December, 2019.
In Gujarat, 15 sugar mills are in operation and they have produced 2.40 lakh tonnes of sugar till 15th December, 2020. In 2019-20 SS, as on 15th December, 2019 when similar number of sugar mills were in operation and had produced 1.52 lakh tonnes of sugar till that date.
There are 10 sugar mills in operation in Tamil Nadu and sugar production till 15th December, 2020 was about 0.8 lakh tonnes, as compared to 0.73 lakh tonnes produced by similar number of sugar mills as on 15th December, 2019.
Crushing operations in all the other States have also begun and the pace of crushing is picking up. About 80 sugar mills are operating in other States who have collectively produced 4.36 lakh tonnes of sugar in this season upto 15th December, 2020, which in the previous season was 4.03 lakh tonnes, when 81 mills were operating as on 15th December, 2019.
As per trade and market sources, about 2.5 – 3 lakh tonnes of sugar have been physically exported in the current sugar season so far after 1st October’ 2020, which will be accounted for against the MAEQ of last season 2019-20 as the export policy for last year was extended upto 31st December’ 2020, thus almost fully achieving the target of 60 lakh tons of sugar export for 2019 – 20 SS, said the industry body.
Now, as the sugar export programme has been announced by the Government, the sugar industry is expected to respond in the similar manner as during the last year and is confident of achieving the target of 60 lakh tons of sugar export, considering the demand from importing countries like Indonesia, Malaysia etc, said ISMA.
The industry is also awaiting Government decision on increase in MSP of sugar, which was last revised almost 2 years back. Since the Government has already increased the FRP of sugarcane by Rs. 10 per quintal for the current year, there is need to increase the MSP of sugar to Rs. 34.50 per kg. after considering the increased FRP of sugarcane for 2020-21 SS, said the industry body.
The Ex – mill sugar prices are under pressure in most of the States and to ensure that sugar mills are able to pay to farmers on time, there is need to quickly decide on increasing the MSP of sugar.
The late decision on MSP has already adversely affected the cane payment ability of the sugar millers. The current cane price arrears are reported to be about Rs. 3500 crore and if MSP is not increased quickly, the arrears will jump very fast to uncomfortable levels, said ISMA.