Maharashtra's 2017-18 sugar production to touch 10 million tonnes 

Maharashtra's 2017-18 sugar production to touch 10 million tonnes 

Maharashtra is expected to see a 37% jump in sugar production this year compared to the preliminary forecast of the state government, as per a revised estimate which the state has attributed to higher productivity. 

“We have revised our preliminary estimate of 73 lakh tonnes to 100 lakh tonnes now,” said Sambhaji Kadu Patil, sugar commissioner of Maharashtra, the leading producer of the commodity in the country. 

“Our estimate of area planted under cane has been the same. The increase has been mainly on account of increase in per acre productivity. The sugar mills have been telling us that the cane they have to crush is simply not getting over,” he said. 

The revision is mainly credited to the conducive pattern of rainfall, which occurred at desired time intervals till October in the ongoing sugar season. 

“From our estimate of about 80 tonnes per hectare to 83 tonnes per hectare, the productivity increased up to 100 tonnes per . hectare,” said Patil. 

Sugar production estimates of governments and trade bodies have often gone haywire due to various reasons. Sabyasachi Majumdar, senior vice president, ICRA said, “Based on current trends, domestic sugar production for 2017-18 is anticipated to increase at least 33% to around 27 million tonnes, as against the earlier estimate of 26 million tonnes, although an even higher production cannot be ruled out at this stage. This has been driven principally by a recovery in production in Maharashtra, North Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.” 

ICRA expects a closing stock of 6-6.5 million tonnes in this sugar season, which runs from October to September. 

Higher sugar production has pulled down sugar prices, which in turn has led to an increase in sugarcane price arrears. In Maharashtra, the arrears stand at Rs 2,058 crore, and at Rs 4,673 crore in UP. 

By BOA Bureau