PUNE: Maharashtra's sugar production is set to drop to a decade-low of 4.2 million tonnes this year with the last two working sugar mills in the state preparing to shut down operations amid sugarcane shortage.
The water-intensive sugarcane crop in India has faced two consecutive droughts since 2014-15. However, some parts of Maharashtra have seen drought-like conditions for much longer.
Sugarcane production in the state has declined from 74.3 million tonnes in 2015-16 to less than 40 million tonnes in 2016-17.
The state's sugar output will be half of last year's level when the two mills stop crushing in a week's time, industry executives estimated. The previous low was 4.61 million tonnes in 2008-09.
Industry executives, however, said wholesale sugar prices have remained stable for two consecutive months in the range of Rs 39/kg to Rs 42/kg for varying grades of sugar, mainly on account of subdued demand. The country will not face any shortage of the sweetener due to higher carry forward stocks, they said.