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Sugarcane crushing season enters final stage, state set to see historic production

THE 2021-22 sugarcane crushing season in Maharashtra has entered its final stage with two mills in Kolhapur district ceasing their operations. The state is expected to report record production of sugar with many putting the final sugar production to be around 120 lakh tonnes, an all-time high for the state.

A bumper season saw mills in Maharashtra racing ahead with crushing. As of Monday, 197 mills crushed 990.74 lakh tonnes of cane and produced 102.07 lakh tonnes of sugar. Industry insiders and officers of Sugar commissionerate say the season would stretch till the end of May.

Mills in the sugar bowl of Kolhapur and Sangli are expected to end their season by the end of March. By the end of April, most mills in Pune and Satara are to close. However, the mills in Marathwada, Ahmednagar, Solapur and Nashik are expected to continue their operations till the end of May. Mills in Marathwada said farmers have increased their cane area manifold which has led to mills having to deal with huge amounts of cane. Per acre productivity in the state has also seen a rise in many areas.

The initial estimates given by the sugar commissioner’s office talked of 1,056 lakh tonnes of cane available for crushing and the state would produce around 108 lakh tonnes of sugar to be produced at an average recovery of 10.30 per cent. (This is taking in consideration 12-15 lakh tonnes of sugar diverted for production of ethanol).

However, at present there is more than 260 lakh tonnes of cane left to be crushed mostly in Marathwada and sugar production is expected to go further up. Maharashtra’s final sugar production is now slated to touch 120 lakh tonnes — the highest since the sugar industry started in the state. “This figure is interesting– the highest production taking in consideration the highest diversion towards ethanol,” pointed out a managing director from a cooperative sugar mill in Pune.

The silver lining is that Maharashtra has got the lion’s share of exports this season. Till date, around 52 lakh tonnes of sugar exports have been finalised of which 20 lakh tonnes are from Maharashtra.

The above news was originally posted on

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