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Delay in sugarcane crushing season affects export of raw sugar

Delay in the commencement of sugarcane crushing season has affected exports of raw sugar despite contracting 1.8 million tonnes (MT), according to the All India Sugar Trade Association (AISTA).

The demand for raw sugar by refineries across the world has gone up according to market experts. Refineries from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and India too are already putting up demand for the commodity.

However, sugar mills in States like Maharashtra are facing problems with the launching crushing season.


Praful Vithalani, Chairman AISTA said in a statement that exports are being done mostly from the sugar mills of Maharashtra and Karnataka. “The current ex-factory sugar prices in North India and Bihar have been in the range of ₹35,500-37,500 per ton. Hence, the quantity exported by the mills in North India are negligible”. He added that sugar exports of 18,290 MT to Sri Lanka have been done although the country is facing foreign exchange difficulties.

As per the provisional data with AISTA, physical sugar dispatches from sugar mills in season 2021-22 stand at 4,21,330 MT. This includes 2,50,232 MT shipped in October 2021 as direct export, 26,444 MT delivery to a port-based refinery in October 2021 ( deemed export). Sugar under loading/ nominated is pegged at 1,44,654 MT.

Of the total sugar export, about 44 per cent of sugar has been exported to UAE and 21 per cen to Bangladesh followed by Somalia (10 per cent) and Iran (9.1 per cent). Sugar export to Afghanistan stands at 10,455 MT that is 4.2 per cent of the total sugar export.

“As per AISTA sources, sugar export deals of about 18 lakh MT for 2021-22 season have been conducted so far. They all are without any subsidy,” Vithlani said in a statement.

Sugar mills facing problems

According to the Indian Sugar Mill Association (ISMA), the total acreage under sugarcane in the country is estimated to be around 54.37 lakh hectares in 2021-22 sugar season, which is about 3 per cent higher than 2020-21 sugar season’s cane area of 52.88 lakh hectares.

Uttar Pradesh is estimated to have a sugarcane area of 23.08 lakh hectares, as against 23.07 lakh hectares in 2020-21. Maharashtra’s cane area has gone up by about 11 per cent in 2021-22, from 11.48 lakh hectares in 2020-21 to 12.78 lakh ha in 2021-22. Sugarcane area in Karnataka is slightly higher in 2021-22 at 5.11 lakh hectares as against 5.01 lakh hectares in 2020-21.

Some mills in Maharashtra are yet to begin the crushing season as the State government has not permitted them to crush sugarcane owing to FRP dues. Farmer organisations in Maharashtra continue to agitate for a one-time payment of FRP. In Uttar Pradesh millers face pressure from politicians to provide immediate payment of sugarcane ahead of State polls.

The above news was originally posted on

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