New Delhi: India's sugar production declined by nearly 19 percent as on May 15, however, 63 mills are still in operation in the ongoing sugar season 2019-20 (October-September).
As per the production data released by the apex sugar Industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), sugar mills across the country produced 264.65 lakh tonnes of sugar till May 15, 2020, down by 61.54 lakh tonnes or 18.86 percent from 326.19 lakh tonnes produced during the same period last year. However, 63 sugar mills are still in operation as compared to 38 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane on May 15, 2019.
Sugar mills in UP have produced 122.28 lakh tonnes of sugar as on May 15, 2020, which is 5.48 lakh tonnes higher than the production of 116.80 lakh tonnes produced by them last year on the corresponding date. This production is the highest ever sugar production in the state, surpassing 120.45 lakh tonnes produced in 2017-18. Out of 119 mills operated this year, 73 mills have ended their crushing and 46 mills continue their operations, compared to 28 mills which were operating on May 15, 2019 last year.
In Maharashtra, sugar production till May 15, 2020 was 60.87 lakh tonnes, compared with 107.15 lakh tonnes produced in 2018-19 SS, almost 46.3 lakh tonnes less than last year. In the current 2019-20 SS, 145 mills have already closed their crushing operations in the state and only one sugar mill is operating, while last year on the corresponding date, crushing season had already concluded by April 30, 2019.
All the operating sugar mills in Karnataka had closed their crushing operations by April 30, 2020 and have produced 33.82 lakh tonnes of sugar. However, a few mills might operate in the special season commencing July 2020. Last year during the special season, Karnataka mills had produced 1.05 lakh tonnes of sugar. As compared to the above, 43.25 lakh tonnes was produced in 2018-19 SS on the corresponding date.
As on date, in Tamil Nadu, 9 mills are in operation, out of 24 sugar mills which operated this season. Till May 15, 2020, sugar production in the state was 5.65 lakh tonnes, compared with 7.16 lakh tonnes produced on the corresponding date last year. Of the 32 sugar mills, 30 mills had ended their operations and only 2 mills were in operation as on May 15, 2019, last year. Last year, during the special season, 2.13 lakh tonnes were produced by mills in Tamil Nadu.
All the factories in Gujarat have closed their crushing operations for the current season and have produced 9.28 lakh tonnes of sugar as compared to 11.21 lakh tonnes of sugar produced in the 2018-19 SS.
The remaining states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha have collectively produced 32.75 lakh tonnes till May 15, 2020. As on date, 5 mills are operating in Haryana, while one mill is operating in Uttarakhand, which are expected to close their crushing operations shortly.
As per market sources, contracts for export of 42 lakh tonnes have been signed till the beginning of May 2020. As per reports available from mills and ports, about 36 lakh tonnes of sugar have been moved/dispatched from the mills for export.
Contracts for export of sugar are being signed for various destinations, with major quantities being signed for exports to Indonesia and Iran. Shipments are also happening and are expected to normalize in the days to come.