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    Sugar output may rise this season

    Synopsis

    The increase in sugar production is expected to come mainly from Maharashtra.

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    The officials of Maharashtra’s sugar commissionerate told ET that they have now revised the sugar production estimate of Maharashtra upward from 58 lakh tonnes to 60 lakh tonnes.
    Pune: The Indian sugar industry expects the 2019-20 sugar production to be higher than the estimates as projections of a fall in Maharashtra’s sugar production due to floods have gone wrong. Industry body ISMA has recently increased its estimate to 26.5 million tonnes, which brought international prices down. But a section of trade and industry believes that the sugar production can go up to even 27.5 million tonnes.

    All India Sugar Traders’ Association (AISTA) Praful Vithlani said that his association has estimated India’s 201-20 sugar production at 27.5 million tonnes. “However, my own independent estimate is that the country’s sugar production estimate can go up to even 28 million tonnes,” said Vithlani.

    Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) recently increased its sugar production estimate to 26.5 million tonnes from its previous estimate of 26 million tonnes. “International sugar prices had dropped as a response to ISMA's upward revision of sugar production,” said Vithlani. India is trying to maximise sugar export to reduce surplus stocks within the country.

    The increase in sugar production is expected to come mainly from Maharashtra. “Everyone went wrong on sugar production estimate of Maharashtra,” said Vithlani. Kolhapur and Sangli, the sugar bowls of the state had suffered heavy floods and inundation of sugarcane fields under floodwater for weeks.

    This had led the industry and trade veterans estimate a fall in sugar production of 25 per cent to 40 per cent.
    sugar-graph

    However, Abhijit Ghorpade, a trader from south Maharashtra said that barring for some fields, especially along the river banks, which had faced submergence, the floods left a positive impact on sugar content, called the sugar recovery rate of sugarcane. “Many sugar mills from these two districts have seen increase in their sugar recovery rates,” said Ghorpade.

    The officials of Maharashtra’s sugar commissionerate told ET that they have now revised the sugar production estimate of Maharashtra upward from 58 lakh tonnes to 60 lakh tonnes. However, a section of the trade believes that the sugar production can be higher than 60 lakh tonnes as only 17 per cent of the 145 sugar mills that had started crushing season this year, have stopped operations so far.
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