Sugar production drops 8%, farmers plant more cane for next year

Sugar production in the country has fallen by more than 8 percent to 32.24 million tons (metric tons) as of May 31 in the ongoing sugar season (October 2022 to September 2023), compared to 35.19 million tons a year earlier, industry sources said.

As many as 20 factories shut down their operations in the second fortnight of last month reducing the number of mills in operation to 17 till May 31, including 10 mills in Tamil Nadu. During the same period last year, the number of operating plants was higher at 45.

Production in Uttar Pradesh was 3 percent higher at 10.52 metric tons from 10.2 metric tons, while in Maharashtra it fell to 10.53 metric tons from 13.69 metric tons and in Karnataka to 5.5 metric tons from 5.82 metric tons. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka are the three largest sugar producers in the country.

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Industry sources said Tamil Nadu recorded a 27.2 percent increase in sugar production to 1.17 million tons till May 31 from 0.92 million tons in the same period last year. Bihar reported a significant increase of 37.2 percent at 0.63 mt vs. 0.46 mt. The sources said other states in which sugar production increased from last year include Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), an industry body for private sugar companies, has cut its estimate of sugar production For the current season, it rose to 32.8 mt in April from 34 mt earlier after taking into account lower production in Maharashtra and marginal increase in Uttar Pradesh. The annual domestic consumption is 27.5 million tons. The country produced 35.76 metric tons in the 2021-22 season.

Meanwhile, last week, the Ministry of Agriculture released its first weekly week Update the sowing area of ‚Äč‚Äčautumn crops Even as farmers anxiously await the arrival of the monsoons on the mainland. Sugarcane coverage has increased this year as sugar mills clear dues for supplying sugarcane on time. So far, sugarcane has been cultivated on 46.98 lakh hectares as against 46.67 lakh hectares a year ago.