ISMA seeks 2 MT exports as India's sugar output as per estimates

Sugar production in India has reached approximately 314 lac tons as of the end of April 2024. With an additional output of 5-6 lac tons expected from mills in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the final net sugar production is estimated to be close to 320 lac tons.

ISMA seeks 2 MT exports as India's sugar output as per estimates

India's sugar production has crossed 314 lakh tonnes. Releasing the sugar production figures in the current crushing season 2023-24, the Indian Sugar and Bio-Energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has expected the final sugar production to be close to 320 lakh tonnes, which is about two and a half percent less than last year's sugar production of 328.2 lakh tonnes.

Due to additional production of 5-6 lakh tonnes from sugar mills of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, sugar production is expected to reach 320 lakh tonnes this year, while the sugar consumption in the country is around 285 lakh tonnes. In view of the sugar production situation in the country, ISMA has urged the Central Government to allow the export of 20 lakh tonnes of sugar.

Deepak Ballani, Director General of ISMA shared his views on this year's sugar production estimates, stating, "We are pleased to report positive production figures for the sugar industry this year. The projected estimate of sugar production successfully highlights the collective efforts of our stakeholders and the industry's resilience. The financial well-being of sugar mills and timely payments to farmers are paramount to the smooth functioning of the industry. Hence, we urge the Government to consider permitting the export of 20 lakh tons of sugar in the current season, which will not only benefit the industry but also contribute to the welfare of cane farmers. We, at ISMA, remain committed to working towards the betterment of sugarcane farmers and the sustained growth of the sugar industry in India."

To control sugar prices, the central government has currently banned the export of sugar. Whereas last year about 60 lakh tonnes of sugar was allowed to be exported.

In the last sugar season (2022-23) 328.2 lakh tonnes of sugar was produced in the country while 38 lakh tonnes of sugar was used for ethanol production. Thus the gross sugar production was 366 lakh tonnes. This year, the gross sugar production can reach 337 lakh tonnes, including 320 lakh tonnes of sugar production and diversion of 17 lakh tonnes of sugar for ethanol. This is about 8 percent less than last year.

The annual consumption of sugar in the country is about 285 lakh tonnes. Whereas last year's closing stock was 56 lakh tonnes. Thus, at the end of the current sugar season on September 30, 2024, there will be about 91 lakh tonnes of sugar stock in the country, which is much more than the average consumption of three months. This additional stock of sugar can increase the financial burden of the millers. Therefore, the industry has urged the government to allow the export of 20 lakh tonnes of sugar. This will improve the financial condition of the sugar mills and help in making timely payments to the farmers.

According to ISMA, by the end of April 516 sugar mills in the country had completed their crushing, whereas last year by this period 460 mills were closed. Thus, at the end of April, crushing is going on in only 16 sugar mills, whereas last year till this date 73 mills were running.

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