INDIA: Sugar production down 15% on the year through February 15

Published: 02/17/2017, 6:07:06 PM

India's sugar deficit increased to 15% as on February 15 from 10% on January 31, according to the estimate of trade body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) as sugarcane crushing season in Karnataka has almost come to an end, while that of Maharashtra is at its fag end, according to the Economic Times of India.

As on February 15, 2017, sugar mills in the country have produced 146.72 million tonnes of sugar, as compared to 17.334 million tonnes produced as on February 15, 2016. Sugar production in this season till  February 15, 2017 is 2.662 million tonnes lower than the sugar produced up to the corresponding date last year.

Of the 483 sugar mills that started crushing in 2016/17 SS, 191 mills have closed their operations. About 80% of the mills in Maharashtra and 95% of mills in Karnataka have closed.

Sugar dispatched by sugar mills across the country from October 1 2016 to January 31, 2017, as reported by the sugar mills, is lower by 750,000 tonnes as compared to the sugar dispatched in the first 4 months of the previous sugar season 2015/16 SS.

"Sugar dispatches by mills in January 2017 is lower by almost 250,000 tonnes as compared to that of January 2016 last year,"

ISMA has pegged the 2016/17 sugar consumption in the range of 24.0-24.3 million tonnes. "Last year in 2015/16, total sugar dispatches were to the tune of 24.85 million tonnes. Considering that the downtrend of sugar sales gets reversed and taking sales in the current year's sugar dispatches would be around 240 lac tonnes. However, if one takes 2% growth over last year in the next 8 months, the sugar dispatches can be 16.0 million tonnes," stated ISMA release.

According to ISMA, U.P. has produced 5.4 million tonnes of sugar till February 15, 2017 as against 4.555 million tonnes of sugar production last year till February 15, 2016. As on date, out of 116 sugar mills which started operation during the current sugar season, 6 sugar mills have shut its crushing operations.

In Maharashtra, 153 sugar mills have produced 3.973 lac tonnes of sugar till February 15, 2017, compared with 6.270 lac tonnes produced in last season on the corresponding date. Out of 153 sugar mills, 31 sugar mills are still operating. Last year, out of 177 sugar mills which operated, 144 mills were operating on the corresponding date.

61 sugar mills of Karnataka have produced 2.025 million tonnes of sugar as on February 15, 2017, compared with 3,231 million tonnes of sugar production in last year till February 15, 2016. 58 out of 61 sugar mills which had started operations this year, have shut their crushing operations by February 15, 2017 for 2016/17 SS, as compared to 3 mills which had shut their crushing last year on the corresponding date. South Karnataka has a special crushing from July and hence some mills will produce some more sugar then.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana sugar mills have produced 4 lac tonnes of sugar up to February 15, 2017. This is lower to last year, during the same period, when there was a production of 550,000 tonnes up to the corresponding date. Out of 26 sugar mills which started crushing this year in A.P. and Telangana, 19 mills are still running.

In Tamil Nadu, 37 sugar mills have produced 510,000 tonnes of sugar as on February 15, 2017, as compared to 400,000 tonnes of sugar produced by 38 sugar mills in 2015/16 SS till February 15, 2016. As regards Gujarat, 700,000 tonnes of sugar was produced by 19 sugar mills as on 15 February 2017. Last year, 19 sugar mills had produced 808,000 tonnes of sugar on the corresponding date.

In Bihar, 11 sugar mills have produced 375,000 tonnes till February 15, 2017, as compared to 387,000 tonnes produced during 2015/16 SS till February 15, 2016. In case of Punjab, 16 sugar mills which are in operation have produced 380,000 tonnes of sugar up to February 15, 2017, as compared to 355,000 tonnes produced by same number of mills on the corresponding date last year.

Sugar production in Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh till February 15, 2017 is slightly higher at 330,000 tonnes, compared with 280,000 tonnes produced as on February 15, 2016. Sugar production in Haryana and Uttarakhand till February 15, 2017 is 320,000 tonnes and 210,000 tonnes, respectively. These States produced 300,000 tonnes and 175,000 tonnes respectively, These States produced 300,000 tonnes and 175,000 tonnes respectively, last year same period.

According to ISMA, Current retail prices of sugar, as per web site of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, are on an average INR42 (US$0.62) per kilo for the country as a whole. The ex-mill sugar prices have witnessed a fall in the last few days, mainly because of lack of off-take and poor demand. Currently, ex-mill prices in North India is around INR37 per kilo and in South and West India is around INR36 per kilo. The trade body has claimed that current global prices are higher to the domestic prices which will make imports unviable at current levels.