FMCG companies that buy the sweetener in bulk account for 70% of local sales of sugar. The April June quarter contributes more than 40% annual sales of the Rs 14,000 crore industry.
Having briefly emerged from two back-to-back droughts caused by El Niño conditions, the government is under pressure to take policy decisions about import and export of major commodities.
The ISMA release stated: "Out of 153 sugar mills which had started crushing this season in Maharashtra, 136 mills have stopped crushing and 17 are still working.
In Icra's view, sugar prices are expected to remain firm in the near term, given the tight stock position.
The wholesale price of potato in Mumbai has declined from Rs 15/kg on November 8, 2016 to Rs 7.50/kg on February 27.
Farmers' body claimed that despite the generous help from UP government, the arrears in UP is higher, though mainly because of 5 sugar companies which account for almost 70% of the same.
Of the 150 sugar mills that had started cane crushing operations this year, 124 mills have already closed due to non-availability of sugarcane.
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 prices are currently at the same level they were seven years ago, but the cost of production has increased, Dhanuka claimed.
Atul Asher, honorary secretary, Indian Cotton Federation, said Indian traders and mills had contracted imports of 7 lakh bales (one bale is 170 kg) in the five months since October 1, 2016, the start of the cotton year.
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