Delay in monsoon rainfall is likely to hit India’s sugar production next season badly. Preliminary forecast made by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) estimates the country’s sugar output during the ensuing crushing season (October 2012-September 2013) at 25 million tonnes, marginally lower than the current year’s estimated output at 26 million tonnes.

The actual sugar production during the current sugar season upto June 30, 2012 is estimated at 25.7 million tonnes. It is expected that in the next three months, another 0.3 million tonnes would be produced in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and the country would be able to achieve sugar output at 26 million tonnes by the end of the season as forecast in the beginning of the season.

Considering the current trend of exports, the country should have exported around 3.5 million tonnes by end of September, 2012 and therefore, there would be a very good closing balance of sugar at the end of 2011-12 to cover the consumption requirement of initial three months of next season. With such a very comfortable opening balance for 2012-13 and clearly a surplus production of around 3 million tonnes over the estimated domestic consumption of 22 million tonnes during 2012-13 season, it is clear that the country will need to continue to export substantial quantity of sugar next year also, a part of which will be the spillover quantities from the current year’s production and another part from next year’s surplus production.

Meanwhile acreage under sugarcane has jumped 4.6 per cent so far this season at 52.2 lakh ha as on June 28, 2012 as compared to 49.9 lakh ha on the same period a year ago. The normal area as on the date stands at 47.1 lakh ha.

"June and July are two crucial months for gemination and sucrose content in the sugarcane plant. The paucity of rainfall and sunshine during the said two months hits the overall output badly. Since, the monsoon has already delayed by two weeks, the output is likely to be affected," said Abinash Verma, Secretary General, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the premier industry body.

source: BS

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