Media Release: Sugar production upto 31st March, 2016
· The All India sugar production upto 31st March 2016 is 237 lac tons. This is about 11 lac tons less than last year, which was expected, since the estimated sugar production in the current season is lower than last year.
· As compared to 366 sugar mills which were working on 31st March last year, 215 sugar mills continue to crush sugarcane in the current season on 31st March 2016. In the last season, 35 lac tons of sugar was produced further after 1st April 2015. With lower number of sugar mills operating in the current season, sugar production in the balance period in the current season would obviously be lower.
· Maharashtra has produced 82 lac tons upto 31st March 2016, which was 93.6 lac tons at the corresponding period in the last season. As compared to 135 sugar mills which were still working as on 31st March 2015, 58 sugar mills are crushing sugarcane in Maharashtra as of now. Most of these sugar mills are operating in Kolhapur, Pune and Sangli Districts which are the main cane belt area and were not so badly affected due to less water availability, and therefore, it is generally expected that another 5 to 6 lac tons may get further produced from Maharashtra. Due to drought like conditions, the average recovery in Maharashtra is reported to be slightly lower than last year.
· The sugar mills in U.P have produced 65.7 lac tons upto 31st March, 2016, which was 63.4 lac tons at the same corresponding period last year. However, as compared to 76 sugar mills which were working last year at the end of March, currently 48 sugar mills are crushing sugarcane in U.P. Due to good weather conditions in the State and substantial improvement in cane varieties and their acreage in the State, the average sugar recovery being reported from U.P. is significantly higher than last year by around 1%. It is generally expected that mills in U.P. may produce around 5 lac tons in the balance period in this season.
· The sugar mills in Karnataka have produced 40.16 lac tons in the current season upto 31st March, 2016, which is slightly lower than 42.47 lac tons produced at the same corresponding period last year. As compared to 51 sugar mills which were still under operation last year at the end of March, there are 15 sugar mills which are currently crushing sugarcane in the State. The mills in Karnataka produced another about 7 lac tons last year after 1st April 2015. However, with lesser number of sugar mills working in the State and also considering that South Karnataka mills have a special season in July – September, the sugar mills in Karnataka may produce around 2 lac tons more in the balance period of this season.
· The fourth largest sugar producing State, namely, Tamil Nadu has produced 8 lac tons upto 31st March 2016, which is slightly higher than 7.53 lac tons of sugar production at the same period in the last season. Almost same number of sugar mills are still crushing sugarcane in Tamil Nadu at the end of March i.e. against 38 sugar mills last year, there are 39 sugar mills under operation currently. The State of Tamil Nadu has a special season in July – September, and considering that, it is expected that the mills in Tamil Nadu would produce another 6 lac tons in the balance period of the current season.
· The other States like Uttarakhand, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, A.P & Telangana etc. have either produced similar quantity of sugar as last year or slightly higher in the current season. There are 55 sugar mills in total working in these States (except in Bihar which has closed) at the end of March this year. A few lac tons of sugar is expected to be produced from these States in the balance period of the season.
· The current year’s sugar production is almost equal to the domestic consumption. The sugar mills opened the current season with a significantly high opening stock of 91 lac tons. 11.5 lac tons of sugar has been physically exported in the current season and as compared to contracts finalized till now, another 3 lac tons are expected to move in the next couple of months. Unless and until further export contracts take place, 91 lac tons of opening stocks will get drawn down to around 75 lac tons which is still a significantly high opening balance for 1st October, 2016.
· There are field reports which suggest that due to less rainfall and lower water availability in reservoirs in some Districts in Maharashtra and North Karnataka, the acreage of sugarcane available for harvesting in 2016-17 SS will be lower. Therefore, there is a general expectation that sugar production during 2016-17 SS from the States of Maharashtra and Karnataka, due to lower acreage in some of their districts, will be lower than the current sugar season.
· However, it is important to note that the acreage under early variety of sugarcane i.e. CO 0238 in U.P, will go upto around 40% as compared to around 20% in this season. This early variety is reportedly giving higher yields as well as higher sugar recovery to the sugar mills in U.P. Therefore, with area under sugarcane for next season reportedly expected to be similar to the current season, the sugar production from U.P next year will be higher. Similarly, after 2 years of drought like conditions in Tamil Nadu, the State has received very good rainfall in 2015 and, therefore, it is expected that the acreage in Tamil Nadu will increase in next season. This will give higher sugarcane availability and sugar production from Tamil Nadu too.
· Therefore, the lower expected sugar production from Maharashtra and Karnataka is expected to be significantly compensated by higher production from U.P and Tamil Nadu, reducing the net fall for the country from the current season significantly.
· However, despite expected reduction in sugar production in the next sugar season, it is important to note that the opening stocks as on 1st October 2016, will be very comfortable at about 75 lac tons and, therefore, there will be enough sugar to not only take care of the domestic requirement for the whole year, but will also leave a reasonable opening balance for 2017-18 SS.
International as well as domestic agencies are reporting that the impact of El Nino will be over in the month of May, and, therefore, it is expected that there will not be a dry season in India this time. The Indian Meterological Department’s (IMD’s) first report is expected in next 3 weeks by 3rd week of April, which will give a clearer picture, but a general expectation from the experts, suggests that the monsoon this year will be normal, which may be good for sugarcane planting next year.