Indian sugar mills, which set a record in sugar production last year, are far behind this year. Due to the shortage of sugarcane, only 100 sugar mills have started crushing across the country until the first fortnight of November, although 310 sugar mills started production in the same period last year. According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association of India (ISMA), drought and floods in Maharashtra have resulted in heavy losses to the sugarcane crop. For this reason, crushing in sugar mills has not started yet. ISMA says that in the crushing season starting from 1 October 2019, only 4.85 lakh tonnes of sugar has been produced till 15 November, although by this time last year 13.38 lakh tonnes of sugar had been produced. Earlier, ISMA had predicted that sugar production could fall by 21.5 percent to 26 million tonnes in 2019-20. As of October 1, there were 14.5 million tonnes of open stock in the market.
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Not a single mill started in Maharashtra
Not a single sugar mill has started work during the current crushing season in Maharashtra due to drought last year and rains this year. By this time last year, 149 sugar mills had started crushing there. Isma says crushing is expected to begin in Maharashtra sugar mills from November 22. With this, 18 sugar mills have started in Karnataka, up from 53 last year. Apart from this, three mills in Gujarat and five mills in Tamil Nadu have started crushing and these states have produced 49000 tonnes of sugar till 15 November in the current crushing season.
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Sugar production is more in UP
In this respect, the condition of Uttar Pradesh is better. In the current crushing season in UP, crushing has started in 69 sugar mills so far, which is equivalent to last year. UP has produced 2.93 lakh tonnes of sugar, which is much higher than the 1.76 lakh tonnes last year. Apart from this, crushing has started in two sugar mills in Uttarakhand, while two in Bihar and one sugar mill have been started in Haryana. The country's current annual sugar consumption is 260 million tonnes.
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According to ISMA, 2 lakh tonnes of sugar have been exported so far. According to sources related to the sugar mills, the agreement to export 12 lakh tonnes of sugar has been done. The increase in sugar exports will make it easier for mills to pay their dues.