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SUGAR

Sugar dispatched by mills upto January 31, 2017 lower by 7.5 lakh tons
Monday, 20 February, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Sugar dispatched by mills across the country between October 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017 is lower by 7.5 lakh tons vis-a-vis the sugar dispatched in the first four months of the previous sugar season.

As was expected, sugar dispatches by mills in January 2017 was lower by almost 2.5 lakh tons vis-a-vis that of January 2016. The trend of lower sales noticed from October 2016, has continued even in January 2017.  One has to wait to see whether the trend of lower off-take will continue or get reversed in February 2017.

In 2015-16, total sugar dispatches were to the tune of 248.5 lakh tons. Considering that the downtrend of sugar sales gets reversed and taking sales in the next eight months of the current season at similar levels as that of last year, the current year’s sugar dispatches would be around 240 lakh tons.  However, if one takes two per cent growth over last year in the next eight months, the sugar dispatches can be 160 lakh tons.  Therefore, the sugar consumption/despatches in the current season would range between 240 and 243 lakh tons as per this calculation.

As on February 15, 2017, sugar mills in the country have produced 146.72 lakh tons of sugar, as compared to 173.34 lakh tons produced as on February 15, 2016. Sugar production in this season till February 15, 2017 is 26.62 lakh tons lower than the sugar produced upto the corresponding date last year.

Of the 483 sugar mills that started crushing in sugar season 2016-17, 191 mills have closed their operations.  About 80 per cent of the mills in Maharashtra and 95 per cent of the mills in Karnataka have closed.  

Uttar Pradesh has produced 54 lakh tons of sugar till February 15, 2017 as against 45.55 lakh tons of sugar production till February 15, 2016. As on date, out of 116 sugar mills which started operation during the current sugar season, six sugar mills have shut their crushing operations.    

In Maharashtra, 153 sugar mills have produced 39.73 lakh tons of sugar till February 15, 2017, compared with 62.70 lakh tons produced in the last season on the corresponding date.  Out of 153 sugar mills, 31 sugar mills are still operating.  Last year, out of 177 sugar mills which operated, 144 mills were operating on the corresponding date.

Sixty-one sugar mills of Karnataka have produced 20.25 lakh tons of sugar as on February 15, 2017, compared with 32.31 lakh tons of sugar production in last year till February 15, 2016. Fifty-eight out of 61 sugar mills which had started operations this year, have shut their crushing operations by February 15, 2017 for sugar season 2016-17, as compared to three mills which had shut their crushing last year on the corresponding date.  South Karnataka has a special crushing from July, and hence, some mills will produce some more sugar then.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana sugar mills have produced four lakh tons of sugar upto February 15, 2017.  This is lower than last year, during the same period, when there was a production of 5.50 lakh tons upto the corresponding date.  Out of 26 sugar mills which started crushing this year in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 19 mills are still running.

In Tamil Nadu, 37 sugar mills have produced 5.10 lakh tons of sugar as on February 15, 2017, as compared to four lakh tons of sugar produced by 38 sugar mills in sugar season 2015-16 till February 15, 2016.

As regards Gujarat, seven lakh tons of sugar have been produced by 19 sugar mills as on February 15, 2017.   Last year, 19 sugar mills had produced 8.08 lakh tons of sugar on the corresponding date.

In Bihar, 11 sugar mills have produced 3.75 lakh tons till February 15, 2017, as compared to 3.87 lakh tons produced during sugar season 2015-16 till February 15, 2016.   

In case of Punjab, 16 sugar mills which are in operation have produced 3.80 lakh tons of sugar upto February 15, 2017, as compared to 3.55 lakh tons produced by the same number of mills on the corresponding date last year.

Sugar production in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh till February 15, 2017 is slightly higher at 3.30 lakh tons, compared with 2.80 lakh tons produced as on February 15, 2016.

Sugar production in Haryana and Uttarakhand till February 15, 2017 is 3.20 lakh tons and 2.10 lakh tons, respectively.  These states produced three lakh tons and 1.75 lakh tons respectively, during the same period last year.

Current retail prices of sugar, as per the website of the ministry of consumer affairs, are on an average Rs 42 per kg for the country as a whole.

The ex-mill sugar prices have witnessed a fall in the last few days, mainly because of the lack of off-take and poor demand.  Currently, the ex-mill price in North India is around Rs 37 per kg and in South and West India, it is around Rs 36 per kg.

Current global prices are higher than the domestic prices, making imports unviable at the current levels.
 
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