Mmbai: Sugar output in India, the world’s second biggest producer of the commodity, was little changed in the first five months of the season that began in October, after farmers in the biggest cane-growing states delayed crushing.
Production was 16.9 million tonnes (mt) in the October-February period, said R.K. Agrawal, deputy secretary at the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd, a producers’ group, citing provisional data.
Sugar output in India, set to bypass Brazil as the world’s biggest producer, may total 27mt this year, less than the 28.3mt produced a year ago, even as cane harvests in Maharashtra were delayed by two weeks due to rain, and mills in Uttar Pradesh refused to process the crop because of a price dispute with the state government.
Maharashtra, the country’s second biggest cane grower, produced 6.32mt during 1 October to 9 March, compared with 6.42mt a year earlier. Mills in the state crushed 53.2mt of sugar cane, 5% less from a year ago, Prakash Naiknavare, managing director of Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation Ltd, said on Monday.
“The recovery is higher this year and that has helped the overall sugar output, though cane harvested was lower,” Naiknavare said. Production in the state may total 8.3mt, he added.