India’s sugar production may fall slightly to 355 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year starting October, due to diversion of sugarcane towards ethanol manufacturing, according to industry data.
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on Friday released the preliminary estimates for sugar production for 2022-23 marketing year (October-September).
As per the ISMA, the sugar production in 2022-23 is estimated at 355 lakh tonnes as against 360 lakh tonnes in the current marketing year ending September.
Net sugar production before considering diversion towards ethanol is estimated to be higher at 399.97 lakh tonnes in 2022-23 as against 394 lakh tonnes in the current 2021-22 marketing year.
ISMA estimates that the diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol will reduce sugar production by about 45 lakh tonnes in the next marketing year. In the current 2021-22 marketing year, about 34 lakh tonnes diversion has been estimated.
The annual domestic demand is seen at around 275 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23, which will leave a surplus of about 80 lakh tonnes for exports.
In May, the Centre capped sugar exports at 10 million tonnes in the current 2021-22 marketing year to maintain the domestic availability and price stability.
ISMA said that estimates have been made assuming normal rainfall and other optimum conditions during the remaining period.
Based on the satellite images procured in the latter part of June 2022, ISMA said that the total acreage under sugarcane is estimated to be higher by 4 per cent to 58.28 lakh hectares in 2022-23.
In the current ethanol supply year (December-November), ISMA said that till July 10, total contracted quantity of ethanol stood at 444.42 crore litres and out of this, 362.16 crore litres were supplied from sugar industry.
Out of 362.16 crore litres, ethanol manufactured from sugarcane juice and B-Heavy Molasses (BHM) stands at 349.49 crore litres (79.33 crore litres from sugarcane juice and 270.16 crore litres from BHM), which translates into diversion of about 34 lakh tonnes of sugar into ethanol.
ISMA said during 2022-23, “since the target of 12 per cent blending is expected to be achieved, a total of about 545 crore litres of ethanol would be required and supplied”.