Uttar Pradesh sugar output is inching towards the 4 million tonnes (MT) mark, which is halfway mark of the 8 MT production target for the state this crushing season.
As per the latest available statistics, the mills had produced nearly 3.7 MT of the sweetener by crushing 4.1 MT of sugarcane. However, the sugar production and total cane crushed levels are lower compared to the corresponding period last year.
The sugar recovery percentage in the state stands at 8.86 per cent, which is higher by 0.22 per cent vis-à-vis 2011-12 crushing season. Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said the crushing in UP had started late this year, which had resulted in better recoveries, especially in western and central zones.
The Association had already revised initial sugar production estimates for 2012-13 from 24 MT to 24.3 MT on account of lesser cane diversion to local sweeteners and better recoveries.
On December 7, 2012, the Akhilesh government had announced the cane State Advised Price (SAP) for 2012-13, which was 17 per cent higher for the common variety compared to 2011-12.
SAP now stands at Rs 280/quintal for common variety vis-à-vis Rs 240/quintal last year, which forms the bulk of the sugarcane grown in UP. The prices for early and rejected/unsuitable varieties of cane have been hiked to Rs 290/quintal and Rs 275/quintal compared to Rs 250/quintal and Rs 235/quintal respectively.
The hike is likely to translate into total sugarcane payments of Rs 21,500 crore to farmers this crushing season compared to Rs 18,200 crore during 2011-12.
Recently, a UP Sugar Mills Association (UPSMA) delegation led by its chairman C B Patodia and secretary S L Gupta had met the union food secretary and demanded increase in customs duty on white sugar and raw sugar from 10 per cent to 60 per cent and removal of 10 per cent levy sugar obligation on millers.