New Delhi. India’s sugar production is estimated to decline by 218 per cent to 30.5 million tonnes in the current 2021-22 season, mainly due to the use of sugar for ethanol production. Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) gave this information on Thursday. It said that the country will have to continue exporting about six million tonnes of additional sugar in the 2021-22 season (October-September). In the season 2020-21, the production of sugar was 31.8 million tonnes. India, the world’s second largest sugar producer after Brazil, is using sugarcane extensively for its ethanol blending programme.
Releasing the first estimate, industry body ISMA said that in the 2021-22 season, sugarcane crushing has already started in some areas and other areas of the country are expected to start crushing soon. It said, “ISMA has estimated sugar production of around 30.5 million tonnes in 2021-22, which is lower than the initial estimate of 31 million tonnes released in July 2021.” It has said that sugar production in Maharashtra It is estimated at 12.22 million tonnes, Uttar Pradesh at 13.13 million tonnes, Karnataka at 49.5 lakh tonnes, excluding the use of sugar for ethanol. These are the top three sugar producing states in the country.
ISMA said it expects marginal decline in yield and reduction in molasses recovery from sugar in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the eastern region, due to unseasonal rains. In Maharashtra also, the yield per hectare is expected to be slightly lower than last year. The rest of the states are expected to collectively produce 53.1 lakh tonnes of sugar in the 2021-22 season. Due to high ethanol production capacity and continuous surplus sugarcane availability, a large quantity of sugarcane juice or syrup and B-molasses will be used in ethanol production in the 2021-22 season. Similar to the preliminary estimates released by ISMA, it has been estimated that transfer of sugarcane juice and B-molasses to make ethanol will reduce sugar production by around 34 lakh tonnes in the 2021-22 season. However, a better picture of sugarcane transfer can be ascertained after the finalization of tender for ethanol for the year 2021-22.
The association said mills have already submitted bids for ethanol supply. ISMA said that as of October 1, the country has an opening stock of 82.9 lakh tonnes of sugar, which is 2.5 million tonnes less than the year-ago period. But, it still exceeds the domestic requirement for the opening months of the current season. ISMA will review sugarcane and sugar production estimates again in January 2022.