ISMA again lowers 2018-19 sugar production estimate to 30.7 MT
New Delhi: Industry body ISMA Monday revised downward the country's sugar output for the second time to 30.7 million tonne (MT) for the ongoing marketing year 2018-19, owing to a diversion for ethanol making.
In July 2018, ISMA had projected an all-time high sugar output of 35 MT in the current marketing year, compared with 32.5 MT achieved in 2017-18. The estimate was, however, revised downward to 31.5 million tonnes in October last year factoring in likely crop damage owing to untimely rains and pest attack in some states.
On exports, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said it could reach 3-3.5 MT in the current marketing year (October-September) against the mandatory quota of 5 million tonne unless the government takes strict action.
Cane arrear was Rs 19,000 crore till December 2018.
Lowering its estimate by 2.53 per cent, ISMA said sugar production is estimated to be around 30.7 million tonnes in the current marketing year taking into account expected yield, sugar recovery in the balance period of this year.
"This is after considering estimated diversion of 5 lakh tonne of sugar into production of ethanol through 'B' heavy molasses," the ISMA said in a statement.
Till January 15 of this marketing year, mills produced 14.68 MT of the sweetener, compared with 13.55 MT in the year-ago.
Mills in Uttar Pradesh, the country's largest sugar-producing state, produced 4.19 MT, while Maharashtra at 5.72 MT and Karnataka at 2.67 MT till January 15 of this year, ISMA said.
"This is because the mills have started earlier this season, even though the whole year's sugar production will be less than last year's," ISMA said.
According to the revised estimate, overall sugar output in Uttar Pradesh is pegged lower at 11.28 MT in the current year from 12 MT achieved in the previous year.
The estimate for Maharashtra remains unchanged at 9.5 MT from the previous one, but lower than 10.7 MT of the actual output achieved in the previous year.
The production estimate for Karnataka has been kept at 4.2 MT for the current year, higher than 3.75 million tonnes achieved in the previous year.
Production in other states (Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Uttarakhand) is pegged at 6.2 MT for this year, about 2,50,000 tonne more than the previous year, ISMA added.
On exports, ISMA said: "Considering the trend of sugar exports, it is expected that sugar mills could be able to export about 3-3.5 million tonne 2018-19 against the allocated 5 million tonne, unless the export quota is backed up by the government with some force or penalty for the sugar mills who are not exporting against their quotas."
India is the second largest sugar producer after Brazil in the world. Its annual consumption is around 26 MT.