ISMA raises sugar output outlook on higher cane acreage, recoveryRevises output to 314.5 lakh tonnes, exports may top 60 lakh tonnes

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01 February 2022, New Delhi: Sugar output in the current 2021-22 (Oct-Sept) season is expected to be higher than initial estimates at 314.5 lakh tonnes, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the apex trade body said Monday. 

In its first advance estimates in October, ISMA had pegged the sugar output to be around 305 lakh tonnes.

Ethanol production

The upward revision in the second advanced estimates issued by ISMA on Monday is based on the latest satellite image based crop survey of the sugarcane area across the country during the second week of January 2022 and inputs provided by the representatives of the sugar mills. 

The second advance estimates also factor in the diversion of additional cane to the production of ethanol as more distilleries are expected to be commissioned or getting expanded in the year ahead.

As per the latest projections, it is estimated that an additional four lakh tonnes of sugar equivalent would be diverted to production of ethanol in the current season due to the distillery capacity expansion. Earlier, based on the bids made by the mills and as finalised by the Oil Marketing Companies(OMC) till end of January 2022 around 30 lakh tonnes of sugar equivalent was likely to be diverted for ethanol production.

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ISMA expects mills in Uttar Pradesh to produce around 102 lakh tonnes of sugar in current season against 110.59 in the previous season. The estimated lower output is on account of reported lower cane yields and decline in sugar recoveries and higher diversion of sugar to production of ethanol by way of diversion of B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice. ISMA expects higher cane diversion equivalent to 12.55 lakh tonnes of sugar in UP compared with 6.90 lakh tonnes in 2020-21 sugar season. 

In Maharasthra, ISMA expects sugar output to be 117 lakh tonnes this year against 106.50 lakh tonnes in the previous season. The estimated higher output is due to increased cane area by about 11 per cent and better cane yields and sugar recovery compared with last season. This is owing to favourable weather conditions as well as increase in percentage of ratoon cane, which helps in better recovery. Based on the allocations made by the OMCs for supply of ethanol in 2021-22, so far, and expected to be allocated in the current season, it is estimated that Maharashtra sugar mills will divert about 11.27 lakh tons of sugar equivalent for production of ethanol compared with about 7.12 lakh tonnes in the previous year. 

Similarly in Karnataka, sugar output is expected to be about 45.21 lakh tonnes in 2021-22 season against 44.68 lakh tonnes produced previous season. As in Maharashtra, there is an increase in cane area and reportedly better cane yields and better sugar recoveries in Karnataka, which is resulting in higher estimated sugar production in the current season. Karnataka mills are likely to divert about 7.37 lakh tonnes of sugar equivalent for ethanol production in the current year compared with 5.02 lakh tonnes last season.

ISMA further said mills have sold 69.06 lakh tonnes of sugar during October-December, as compared with 67.54 lakh tonnes during the same period a year ago. With the demand for sugar picking up well in the current year, it is estimated that the domestic consumption of sugar would be around 270 lakh tonnes in 2021-22, ISMA said.

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