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By the end of February, 2019, the 466 sugar mills in the India have produced 247.68 lakh tonnes of sugar, as compared to 231.77 lakh tonnes produced by 457 mills on the corresponding date last year, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has said. In the sugar season 2018-19, mills have started closing in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
In Maharashtra, sugar production till February 28, 2019 was 92.10 lakh tonnes, compared with 84.54 lakh tonnes produced last year same period. In the current 2018-19 sugar season, 23 mills have closed their crushing operations in the state while 170 sugar mills are operating. On the corresponding date in last season 18 mills had closed their operations while 169 mills were in operation.
In Uttar Pradesh., 117 sugar mills have produced 73.20 lakh tonnes of sugar till February 28, 2019, compared with 73.61 lakh tonnes produced by similar number of mills on the corresponding date of last year.
In Karnataka, by the end of February, 2019, mills have produced 41.69 lakh tonnes of sugar. 32 mills have closed their operations in the state while 35 mills are are continuing their operation. During the corresponding period last year, they had produced 33.92 lakh tonnes sugar while 38 mills were in operation and 27 mills had closed their operations.
In Tamil Nadu, 32 sugar mills are in operation and have produced 4.70 lakh tonnes of sugar, as compared to 3.58 lac tonnes produced by 26 sugar mills in 2017-18 SS on the corresponding date.
Gujarat has produced 8.80 lakh tonnes of sugar till February 28, 2019 with 14 sugar mills in operation. Last year, 15 sugar mills had produced 8.23 lakh tonnes of sugar on the same date.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 25 sugar mills have produced 5.70 lakh tonnes as on February 28, 2019, as compared to 5.71 lakh tonnes produced by 22 sugar mills on the corresponding date last season.
In Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, sugar production till February end has been in the order of 5.75 lakh tonnes, 2.55 lakh tonnes, 4.60 lakh tonnes, 4.15 lakh tonnes and 4.10 lakh tonnes, respectively.
According to ISMA, for the 1st time, Indian sugar mills have offered to supply around 51 crore litre of ethanol produced from B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice. This is expected to reduce around 5 lakh tonnes of sugar production. Till the end of Feb’2019, in the 1st three months of current year’s supply period, about 12 crore litre of ethanol have been supplied made from B heavy/sugarcane juice. This have in turn reduced about 1 lakh tonnes of sugar production in the current season so far.
As on February 22, 2019, all India cane price arrears reported by Government of India in a press release was Rs. 20,159 crore. Such huge cane price arrears have not been recorded in the past in the month of February in any year. However, with the Government deciding to give soft loans of over Rs. 10,000 crore and increasing the minimum ex – mill price to Rs. 31 per kilogram, the arrears may get reduced faster. But a very high monthly sugar sale quota fixed for March, 2019, has reduced the sugar prices by over Rs. 100 per quintal, which will adversely impact the millers and negate some of the good steps taken by the Government recently.