Sugar production all set to breach last years figure

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 28 2009, 04:34am hrs
Though the controversy over sugarcane pricing in the countrys second-largest growing state of Uttar Pradesh has delayed crushing of the crop, but the government is hopeful that despite all this sugar production would improve not only in the current crop year that started in October, but also in 2010-11.

India produced almost 15 million tonne of sugar in 2008-09.

According to the current estimates made by the department of food and public distribution, nearly 284 million tonne of sugarcane is expected for crushing in 2009-10 while in 2010-11 it would be 370 million tonne as sugarcane area is expected to increase to 5.2 million hectare.

India is headed for a surplus in 2010-11 and will be able to export 1 million tonnes of sugar to discharge its previous re-export obligation and also to recharge stocks. These projections were shared by N Sanyal , joint secretary in the department at the 18th International Sugar Organisation seminar which concluded on November 25.

The government admitted that India turned from an exporter to importer of sugar in 2008-09 as only 15 million tonne of production was achieved against the domestic demand of 22.5 million tonne leaving a gap of 7.5 million tonne.

Similarly, in 2009-10, the government has projected an output of 16 million tonnes against the demand of 23.5 million tonnes leaving a gap of 7.5 million tonne.

The government also noted that the economics of jaggery is not attractive as previous year cane cost was almost 60% higher but jaggery prices are only 20% higher in 2009-10.

It is reasonable to expect that diversion of cane for jaggery will revert to average level of 23-25% from last years 34%, the government said. In 2010-11, the government expects sugar production to surpass the demand.

It said output would be 26 million tonne against demand of 24.5 million tonne whereby India would be in a position to export 1 million tonne.

Better prospect

* India produced almost 15 million tonne of sugar in 2008-09

* Nearly 284 million tonne of sugarcane is expected for crushing in 2009-10

* Crushing would be 370 million tonne in 2010-11 as sugarcane acreage is expected to rise