Sugar production to be up by 4%; exports possible, says ISMA
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has revised country's 2017-18 sugar production upward by about 4% and said the country can export additional sugar from the current season.
A release from ISMA said: "The satellite images of cane area harvested and remaining cane area unharvested in the fields across the country in the second week of January 2018, have been procured by ISMA. On the basis of these images of balance area, trend of yields and sugar recoveries achieved till now as also expected yield/sugar recovery in the balance period of sugar season, ISMA has revised its sugar production estimates in the current season to around 261 lakh tonnes, against the first advance estimates of ISMA of 251 lac tons."
As compared to sugar off-take from sugar mills during last season 2016-17 of around 246 lac tons, it is estimated that the sugar consumption in current year would be around 250 lac tons in the current season. Therefore, as per the revised estimates of 261 lac tons of sugar production, India can export some of the additional stocks within the current season itself. Considering the additional sugar availability expected in the current season. Therefore, as per the revised estimates of 261 lac tons of sugar production, India can export some of the additional stocks within the current season itself.
Considering the additional sugar availability expected in the current season of around 10-11 lac tons over the domestic requirement, senior members of ISMA met the officials in the Food Ministry, Government of India yesterday and today. Detailed submissions were made before the Government about the need to dispose off some of the additional stocks in the current season itself. It was submitted by ISMA that the main reason for the fall in sugar prices in the recent past was the expected sugar production during the current season, which is now looking to be more than the domestic requirement, because of which several sugar mills were under pressure to sell their sugar for revenue generation to pay to the cane farmers. It was also noted that several sugar mills were unable to pay cane price to the farmers because of the recent fall in sugar prices which have started falling below the cost of production. Therefore, there was concern about the sugarcane farmers getting affected due to their cane price arrears accumulating.
According to ISMA, the Government that there is need to take action to control the falling prices, for which some of the stocks could be exported as quickly as possible. The Government appreciated the problems of the sugar sector and agreed that all steps required to be taken to ensure that the additional sugar stocks gets exported quickly, will be taken soon. This could include similar steps as taken by the Government in the past like mandatory sugar exports by each sugar mill in the country. ISMA requested for quick decision in the matter.
By BOA Bureau