Cooperatives raise India’s sugar production estimate and seek relaxation of ethanol restrictions

The Confederation of Sugar Cooperatives NFCSF raised its current-day sugar production forecast to 30.5 million tonnes (mt) from an earlier forecast of 29.15 million tonnes after the current season’s production shortfall narrowed to less than 8 percent since December. 31. Until December 15 the deficit was more than 9 percent. The NFCSF expects the recovery to improve further. Prakash Naiknavare, Managing Director, NFCSF, said about the update of sugar production: “Since the pre-season forecast of sugar production of 29 million tons is expected to increase by about 1.5 million tons, the current restrictions on ethanol production may be somewhat eased.” NFCSF and Indian Sugar and Bioenergy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) will take up the matter with the government.

Yield may increase

511 factories crushed 122.26 mt of sugarcane and produced 11.21 mt of sugar, with an average sugar yield of 9.17 percent in October-December season 2023-24, according to NFCSF. During the same period a year earlier, 514 mills crushed 132.06 tons of cane and produced 12.14 tons of sugar, with an average sugar yield of 9.19 percent. As winter progresses, the sugar crop is expected to increase further, NFCSF president Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar said. Since the Union government has restricted ethanol production from sugarcane juice, the total availability of sugar for local consumption in the country is expected to be higher than initial estimates, Dandegaonkar said. In Uttar Pradesh, 120 mills crushed 35.91 million tonnes of cane and produced 3.47 million tonnes of sugar at an average yield of 9.65 per cent during October-December, while 117 mills crushed 34.22 million tonnes. tons of sugar and produced 308 million tons of sugar. 

More Than Expected

In contrast, Maharashtra’s 195 sugar factories crushed 42.68 million tonnes of cane and produced 3.82 million tonnes of sugar with a yield of 8.95 percent, while 201 tonnes 50 million tonnes crushed 43 million of sugar cane sugar with a yield of 9.40 percent. Karnataka, the third largest producer after UP and Maharashtra, reported 73 mills operating till December 31 crushing 26.37 million tonnes of sugarcane producing 2.4 million tonnes of sugar with a yield of 9.10 percent. A year ago, the same number of mills in Karnataka crushed 28.71 million tonnes of sugarcane, producing 2.67 million tonnes of sugar at a yield of 9.30 percent. According to NFCSF, Uttar Pradesh is expected to produce 11.5 million tonnes of sugar (compared to an earlier estimate of 11 million tonnes), Maharashtra 9 million tonnes (8.5 million tonnes), Karnataka 4.2 million tonnes (3.8 million of tons) Tamil Nadu 1.2 million tons and Gujarat 1 mt (1 mt).

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