New Delhi, Nov 17 | Sugar production rose sharply in the ongoing sugar season 2020-21 which started from October 1, as more than 270 sugar mills were in operation till November 15.
The sugar mills operating in the current season produced 14.1 lakh tonne sugar till November 15, 2020 as against 4.84 lakh tonne during the same period last year, as per the official data released by the India Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), an apex industry body. Therefore, sugar production in the one-and-a-half months of the current sugar season 2020-21 increased by more than 191 percent from last year.
As compared to 127 sugar mills crushing sugarcane last year on November 15, 2019, 274 sugar mills were crushing sugarcane on November 15 this year, said ISMA in a statement.
In Uttar Pradesh, 76 sugar mills have started their crushing operations for the current season and produced 3.85 lakh ton sugar by November 15, 2020. During the same period last year, 78 mills were in operation and had produced 2.93 lakh tons till November 15.
Unlike in 2019, owing to good rainfall and sufficient water availability in reservoirs in Maharashtra and Karnataka, as also better cane availability due to higher cane acreage and improved yield per hectare, crushing season commenced well in time during the last week of October 2020.
In Maharashtra, 117 sugar mills started crushing operations on November 15, 2020 while last year’s season commenced late in the fourth week of November 2019 due to drought and lesser cultivable area by almost 48 per cent as compared to the current year. Till November 15, 2020, sugar production in the state was 5.65 lakh ton.
Similarly in Karnataka, 49 sugar mills were in operation as on November 15, 2020 and have produced 3.4 lakh ton as compared to 34 mills which were operating and had produced 1.43 lakh tons in 2019 upto the corresponding date.
In Gujarat, 14 sugar mills were crushing sugar on November 15, 2020 and produced 80,000 ton sugar. On 15th November, 2019, four mills were in operation and had produced 2,000 ton sugar.
Among the remaining states like Uttarakhand, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, nearly 18 factories have commenced their crushing operations and have together produced 40,000 ton sugar till November 15, 2020.
With carry forward stocks for 2020-21 of 106.4 lakh ton as on October 1, 2020 and an estimated sugar production of 310 lakh ton, India will have another surplus year and needs to continue exporting nearly 60-70 lakh ton of surplus sugar during the 2020-21 sugar season, said ISMA.
Policy decisions regarding the export policy along with export subsidy for the sugar year 2020-21 and creation of buffer stocks along with buffer subsidy are still awaited from the Central Government. During the last season 2019-20, nearly 2 lakh ton sugar had already been shipped out for export on the corresponding date.
During the current season 2019-20 (Dec-Nov), Ethanol supplied as on November 9, 2020 is reported to be at 160.23 crore litre equivalent to a blend of 5 per cent.
For the year 2020-21, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have allocated nearly 262.27 crore litre against offers received for nearly 322.57 crore lt of Ethanol from sugar mills. However, overall requirement as per tender floated by OMCs is nearly 457.64 cr lt. This could mean a blend of nearly 7-8 per cent depending on the overall fuel demand.
The allocated quantity of Ethanol indicates nearly 20 lakh ton diversion of sugar by means of Ethanol produced from heavy molasses and sugarcane juice as also estimated by ISMA in its first advanced estimates of sugar production released in October 2020.