Indian sugar mills produced 12.85 million tonnes of the sweetener between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, nearly 10 percent lower than a year earlier, as mills in key producing states are closing early due to cane shortage, a producers’ body said on Thursday.
The drop in production could lift local prices and prompt the world’s biggest sugar consumer to allow duty-free sugar imports, supporting global prices. Out of 149 sugar mills that started operations this year in Maharashtra, 91 mills have stopped crushing as on Jan. 31, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said.
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Sugar mills typically operate between November and April, but this year mills have stopped crushing due to lower cane supplies.