ISMA raises sugar production estimate to new high, sees exports also at fresh peak

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11 April 2022, New Delhi: The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has revised its all-India sugar production estimates for the current season (October 2021- September 22) to 350 lakh tonnes (lt) after taking into account the diversion of 34 lakh tonnes of sugar equivalent to ethanol. 

The apex body of private mills has projected that exports will be higher than previously anticipated. It will export over 90 lt of sugar in the current season. 

In New Delhi, Union Food Secretary Sudanshu Pandey said “The country’s sugar exports are expected to exceed 80 lakh tonnes this year (October-September) as against 72 lakh tonnes year-ago.” 

He expressed satisfaction in the overall performance of the sector as ethanol supplies are also rising. 

The projections have been made by a committee of ISMA which met on Friday. The committee observed that the sugar production till March 31, 2022, was around 310 lt. 

Maharashtra and Karnataka have already produced around 119 lt and 58 lt, respectively, between October 1 and March 31.

While 167 mills are still operating in Maharashtra, 21 mills are functioning in Karnataka.

Sugarcane availability in Maharashtra and Karnataka is higher than what was expected earlier. 

According to industry experts, sugarcane yield is higher this year in view of the rains that these regions received in October and November 2021. 

Accordingly, ISMA has revised its sugar production estimate for the current season (after diversion to ethanol) for Maharashtra at 134 lt against 126 lt estimated a month ago. 

Similarly, Karnataka is now expected to produce 62 lt (after ethanol diversion), against 55 lt estimated earlier.

“However, minor changes are expected in other States including Uttar Pradesh and they are expected to produce 154 lt of sugar (after a diversion to ethanol), against 152 lt estimated earlier,” the ISMA said in a statement.

The higher sugar production is due to significantly higher yields per hectare as also higher sugar recovery. 

Higher yield, export

The area under sugarcane has not seen any significant increase in the last few years. The higher yields and recoveries are due to better seed varieties and timely application of fertlisers and water, including good rainfall last year, ISMA said.

“On the export front, it is reported that around 74 lt of export contracts have already been entered into so far. Out of that, over 57 lt are reported to have been physically exported till the end of March 2022. Another about 7-8 lt is in pipeline to be exported in April 2022,” the ISMA said.

According to ISMA, news from international trade houses indicate that the global market is expecting over 85 lt of sugar exports from India. 

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