Sugar production declined by 8% or 21.24 lakh tonne for the period ended April 15 to 243.44 lakh tonne in the current sugar season as compared to 264.68 lakh tonne produced in the same period last season. Compared to 245 sugar mills operating as of April 15 last year, around 117 mills were only operating as on April 15, 2016.
About 83.60 lakh tonne was produced up to April 15 in Maharashtra, which is about 16.01 lakh tonne lower as compared to 99.61 lakh tonne produced in the same period last year. There are only 24 sugar mills involved in crushing sugarcane in Maharashtra as on April 15, 2016 as against 84 mills in the corresponding period of last season, said Indian Sugar Mills’ Association (Isma) on Monday.
The Maharashtra sugar mills have crushed 740 lakh tonne up to April 15 at an average recovery of 11.29%, which is slightly lower than 880 lakh tonne of sugarcane crushed last year.
The sugar mills in UP have produced 67.75 lakh tonne which is almost at the same level of sugar production at the same time last year. The mills have crushed 639 lakh tonne of sugarcane till April 15 and have got an average sugar recovery of 10.6% during the current season, as compared to 707 lakh tonne of sugarcane crushed last year at an average recovery rate of 9.60%. As compared to 44 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane last year as of April 15, 19 mills are crushing cane as on April 15, 2016.
Karnataka has produced 40 lakh tonne in the same period as compared to 45.86 lakh tonne. As against 39 sugar mills which were operating last year on April 15, only 5 sugar mills were operating in Karnataka this season and all these are in southern part of the state. South Karnataka sugar mills produce sugar in September too in the special season.
Andhra Pradesh produced 8.10 lakh tonne, 65,000 tonne less than last year. 5 mills are crushing sugarcane against 3 last year on April 15. Tamil Nadu has produced 9.25 lakh tonne up to April 15, 2016, which is about 1 lakh more than last year. It is expected that another about 4.50 lakh tonne will get produced in the remaining period of the season, including in August- September when the mills have a special season in Tamil Nadu.
During the first 6 months of current season i.e. October 1 to March 31, the sugar mills have dispatched 132 lakh tonne for sale in the domestic market, which is 5 lakh tonne more as compared to despatches of 127 lakh tonne during the same six month period in the last sugar season. The slightly higher despatches are because of better lifting during the last few months after improvement in the market sentiments. Up to March 31, 2016, about 13.5 lakh tonne has been exported by sugar factories.
According to Isma, as compared to the cane price arrears of 2015-16 sugar season of over Rs 21,800 crore as on April 12, 2015, cane price arrears during the current season were lower at about Rs 13,300 crore. With the improvement in domestic market, it is expected that cane price payments to the farmers will improve and arrears will come down substantially further in the next few months.