Home / News / India /  Indian sugar mills to shut early as weather shrinks cane supply

Sugar mills in India's top producing state Maharashtra are set to stop cane crushing 45 to 60 days earlier than last year as adverse weather has curtailed sugar cane availability, a senior state government official told Reuters on Friday. 

Maharashtra accounts for more than a third of the country's sugar output

Shekhar Gaikwad, Maharashtra's sugar commissioner said that the state could produce 12.8 million tonnes of sugar in the 2022/23 marketing year that began on October 1, down form an earlier forecast of 13.8 million tonnes. 

Lower sugar output could prevent the world's second-biggest exporter from allowing additional exports, potentially supporting global prices and allowing rivals Brazil and Thailand to increase their shipments, Reuters reported. 

“Excessive rainfall curtailed sugar cane's vegetative growth. This year lower cane is available for crushing. A few mills in the central part of the state could start winding down operations in 15 days, and by the end of April all except three or four mills could have stopped crushing," he said. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Thursday said that a record more than 5,000 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) sugarcane was produced during the 2021-22 sugar season.

India emerged as the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar as well as world’s 2nd largest exporter after Brazil in sugar season (Oct-Sep) 2021-22.

“With a view to prevent cash loss to sugar mills caused due to subdued sugar prices, Government of India in June, 2018 introduced the concept of Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of sugar & fixed MSP of sugar at Rs. 29/ kg which was revised to Rs. 31/ kg w.e.f 14.02.2019," the ministry said.

Timely intervention of the Central Government since last 5 years is crucial in building the sugar sector step-by-step from taking them out of financial distress in 2018-19 to the stage of self-sufficiency in 2021-22.


(With inputs from Reuters)

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