New Delhi: Sugar output in India, the world’s second-largest producer, may exceed earlier estimates and cross 260 lakh tonnes in 2006-07 with the industry hoping for better prospects as sugarcane crushing gains momentum.
“The output is estimated to cross 260 lakh tonnes in 2006-07 season against 193 lakh tonnes last year as all the sugar producing states are producing more than last year,” industry sources said.
Indian Sugar Mills Association and National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories had earlier informed the government that production may cross 250 lakh tonnes, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said only last week.
But with sugarcane crushing gaining momentum in key states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu industry officials now feel the output could be higher.
According to government estimates, based on the data collected from state cane commissioners, production is likely to touch 238.34 lakh tonnes in 2006-07 season, which runs from October to September.
The government had earlier estimated that output would be 227.34 lakh tonnes but it was revised upwards by 11 lakh tonnes due to an expected surge in production in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra would replace Uttar Pradesh as the country’s top producer with an expected output of 84 lakh tonnes, the sources said. The state government had recently raised output estimates to 81 lakh tonnes from 70 lakh tonnes.
Uttar Pradesh is likely to produce 77 lakh tonnes, while Tamil Nadu 26 lakh tonnes and Karnataka 25 lakh tonnes, they added. Output for Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat is pegged at 15 lakh tonnes each.