India’s sugar output rose by 17 per cent to 2.16 million tonnes in the first two months of the 2011-12 season, even though crushing operations were delayed in Maharashtra, ISMA said.
India, the world’s second-largest sugar producer and biggest consumer, had produced 1.84 million tonnes of the sweetener in the same period last year.
The sugar season runs from October to September.
Talking to Indiancooperative.com, Deputy Head of Media and Communications at ISMA Ms Parshwati Saha said that we demand increase up to 3 million tonnes in the export of sugar given the bumper crop in the country.
Saha further added that the SAP hike is a blow to the millers in U.P., who are already making a loss of almost Rs 2-3 a kilo due to higher cost of production of sugar. Presently the ex-mill price of sugar is hovering around Rs 28.50 a kg. in U.P. If mills have to pay a price of Rs 240 per quintal to the farmers, then the ex-mill price will have to be somewhere between Rs 33-34 a kg.
The steep hike in SAP will result in mounting arrears to farmers. Government should allow ex-mill prices to stabilize at Rs.33-34 per kilo in the coming months.
“Even though mills started their crushing slightly late this year, especially in Maharashtra, the production this year has registered an overall jump of 17 per cent to 2.16 million tonnes till November 30 of the 2011-12 season,” the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), an apex body for private sugar mills, said in a statement.
Uttar Pradesh, the second largest sugar-producing state, registered a significant jump in production of sweetener to 5.30 lakh tonnes till November of the current season, up from 1.83 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, it said.
About 350 mills were operational as of November 30 of the current season, as against 355 mills in the corresponding period last year, it added.
Crushing operations in Maharashtra, the country’s largest sugar-producing state, got delayed slightly because farmers were demanding a higher price for their sugarcane.
On sugar prices, ISMA said: “It is probably due to this higher sugar production that the sugar prices have softened slightly in the last few days.”
ISMA has pegged the country’s total sugar production at 26 million tonnes in the 2011-12 season, slightly higher than the government’s forecast of 24.6 to 25 million tonnes.