Amid market glut and stockpile, the domestic sugar production has hit almost 25 million tonnes (MT) in the ongoing cane crushing season 2018-19.
This year, 466 sugar mills have been operational, compared to lower number of 457 units last year.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), now mills have started closing down in Maharashtra and Karnataka, while the trend would catch up with the largest sugar producer Uttar Pradesh in coming weeks.
In Maharashtra, sugar production stands at 9.2 MT, followed by 7.3 MT in UP, 4.2 MT in Karnataka, 0.5 MT in Tamil Nadu, 0.9 MT in Gujarat etc. Other sugar producing states include Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Currently, sugarcane arrears stand at Rs 20,000 crore. Although, such high arrears have never been reported in February, yet the decision to give soft loans of Rs 10,000 crore and increasing the minimum ex– mill selling price to Rs 31/kilo, the arrears may soften.
However, a ‘very high’ monthly sugar sale quota fixed for March, 2019, has led to crashing of sugar prices by Rs 10/kg, which could adversely impact millers and negate some of the succour.