Sugar production hits 282 lakh tonne

Sugar production hits 282 lakh tonne

New Delhi, April 3 :  India produced 281.82 lakh tonnes of sugar during October-March 2017-2018, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said here on Tuesday.

“This (281.82 lakh tonne) is about 92.95 lakh tonne higher than last year, which was expected, since the estimated sugar production in the current season is about 45 per cent higher than the last season,” ISMA said in a statement.

Out of the total 524 sugar mills engaged in operating and crushing canes in the ongoing season, 193 have completed crushing, it said. A few more mills in Maharashtra and Karnataka might also end crushing in a couple of days’ time.

Top sugar producers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka produced 95.40 lakh tonne, 101.27 lakh tonne and 35.56 lakh tonne, respectively, till March 31, it said.

The average wholesale prices of sugar across the country have crashed below the production cost by Rs 500-600 to Rs 3,000 per 100 kg due to the unexpected supply surplus, the sugar mills’ body said.

“Though the government has announced MIEQ (minimum indicative export quota) of 20 lakh tonne for exports to move some surplus stocks out of the country, due to depressed world sugar market, sugar importers are offering an FOB (freight on board) price at the port of around $350 per tonne for exports.”

The government on March 28 had directed mandatory export of 20 lakh tonne of sugar under MIEQ in the ongoing sugar marketing year (October-September).