‘Need to reduce sugar output cost to be competitive globally’

Mumbai: Sugar mills in India must lower their production costs to remain competitive in the global market,  Joint Secretary (Sugar) Subodh Singh said.

On Sunday, Singh remarked at the fourth All India Sugar Trade Association Sugar and Ethanol Conclave, "There are places where we can work...need to cut overall cost like anything." Sugarcane accounts for 70-75 percent of the total cost of sugar production. There is a pricing disparity between sugar and cane. Mills have been financially burdened by high cane prices in recent years, reducing their capacity to make timely sugarcane payments.

Every year, India produces more sugar than it consumes domestically. The country is expected to produce 35.5 million tonnes of the sugar in 2021-22 (October-September), compared to only 27 million tonnes consumed domestically. India's surplus sugar is primarily exported, depending on market conditions. Singh emphasised the importance of first meeting domestic needs, then diverting sugarcane for ethanol production, and finally for export.

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