Sugarproduction in the country dipped over 8 per cent to 32.1 million tonnes (mt) until May 15 in the current sugar season (October 2022-September 2023) against 34.92 mt in the previous season, industry sources said.
Nearly 500 mills have closed their operations, while 37 factories are still continuing with crushing (as on May 15), including 16 mills in Tamil Nadu and 15 units in Uttar Pradesh, against 116 mills that were in operation during the same period last year, indicating lower sugar production this season.
The output in Uttar Pradesh is higher at 10.42 mt this season against 10.15 mt a year-ago, while it dropped from 13.54 mt to 10.53 mt in Maharashtra. Karnataka reported 5.5 mt of sugar output this season against 5.82 mt in previous season. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are the top three sugar producers in the country.
Tamil Nadu has reported 29.2 per cent rise in sugar production, while Bihar, where all the mills have stopped operations, has reported a significant increase of 37.2 per cent at 0.63 mt output against 0.46 mt. In Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the sugar production has gone up this year in comparison to the previous year, the sources said.
“Uttar Pradesh may emerge as the top producer as crushing in the State still continues, while mills in Maharashtra were closed in March,” an industry official said.
The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), an industry body of private sugar companies, has cut its estimate of sugar production for the current season to 32.8 mt from the earlier estimate of 34 mt after taking into account the drop in Maharashtra’s output and marginal increase in Uttar Pradesh’s output.
The annual domestic consumption of sugar is pegged at 27.5 mt. India produced 35.76 mt of sugar in the 2021-22 season.