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Bitter data: Sugar production dips 7% in October-March

The production stood at 23.1 million tonnes in the corresponding period last year. In an official release, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said that barring Karnataka, sugar output declined in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu till March of the 2013-14 marketing year (October-September).

About 330 mills were crushing sugarcane till March this year, against 231 mills in the year-ago period, it said. As per ISMA's latest data, sugar output in Maharashtra — the country's leading producer— remained down by 9 per cent at 7.01 million tonnes till March as compared with 7.73 million tonnes in the year-ago period. The sugar recovery was 11.3 per cent in Maharashtra. As many as 85 mills are still crushing sugarcane in the state, as against 42 mills a year ago.

Similarly, sugar production in Uttar Pradesh — the country's second biggest producer — was down by 13 per cent at 5.8 million tonnes so far in 2013-14 from 6.7 million tonnes in the same period last year due to poor yields and higher diversion to alternate sweeteners manufacturing industry.
The sugar recovery was 9.21 per cent. About 86 mills are still crushing in the state.

Production in Tamil Nadu declined by 28 per cent at 9,50,000 tonnes till March this year, while the output in Andhra Pradesh fell to 9,40,000 tonnes from 9,66,000 tonnes in the year-ago period. In Andhra Pradesh, 12 mills are still crushing sugarcane and expected to close in the next 15 days.

However, sugar production in Karnataka has increased by 12 per cent to 3.75 million tonnes till March as compared with 3.36 million tonnes in the same period last year on account of better yields and good recovery.
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