Maharashtra might end up producing 120 lakh tonnes of sugar as against the initial estimates of 112 lakh tonnes for the present 2021-22 season. NCP MLA and CEO of Baramati Agro Private Limited, Rohit Pawar, said mills across the state have reported increased yield per hectare, which will push up the state’s production figures.
Estimates both by the industry and the sugar commissioner’s office had put the cane availability of the state to 1,096 lakh tonnes with sugar production being at 112 lakh tonnes. Around 15 lakh tonnes of sugar is expected to be diverted for production of ethanol as the state is expected to produce 120 crore litres of the fuel additive.
Pawar, who is the vice president of the West Indian Sugar Mills Association (WISMA) — the apex body of private millers in the state — said after speaking to all millers that another bumper season is expected. “We feel production figures will be around 120 lakh tonnes — this would be the most sugar produced in recent years,” he said. Per hectare production of cane has seen a good rise, which will fuel the rise in production, he added.
At the start of the season, Maharashtra had 47 lakh tonnes of unsold stock, which was more than 50 per cent of the 90 lakh tonne inventory the country possessed at the start of the 2021-22 season. So, increased production will add to the woes of the industry, which has unsold stock. Pawar said exports have been good with the country having inked contracts worth 45-50 lakh tonnes.
Due to good demand, India’s sugar exports could have touched the 70 lakh tonnes mark but Pawar felt the central government will pull in stops at 60 lakh tonnes. Exports more than 60 lakh tonnes might see inflation setting in at retail consumer markets.
Meanwhile, BB Thombare, CMD of Latur-based Natural Sugar and Allied Industries, said ethanol production nationally will be around 450 crore litres. Thombare, whose company operates mills in Osmanabad and Yavatmal, said the country will see diversion of 35 lakh tonnes of sugar for production of 450 crore litres of ethanol.