Sugar production for the ensuing sugar season of 2020-21 (October 2020- September 2021) has been estimated at 32.013 million tonne (mt). This is assuming normal rainfall and other optimum conditions during the remaining period, said apex body Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) on Thursday.
After accounting for the reduction in sugar production due to diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol, it is estimated that sugar production in the 2020-21 season will be at around 30.5 mt, said an ISMA press release.
Based on satellite images procured in the latter part of June 2020, the total acreage under sugarcane in the country is estimated to be around 52.28 lakh hectares in the 2020-21 sugar season (SS), which is about 8% higher than the 2019-20 sugar season’s cane area of around 48.41 lakh hectares. The increase in acreage and the expected increase in sugarcane production was discussed in ISMA’s meeting on Thursday, wherein representatives from sugar-producing states from across the country were present.
The above preliminary estimation of 32.013 mt is based on total sugarcane expected to be crushed by sugar mills in the 2020-21 SS. However, since a significant quantity of sugarcane juice and B-molasses will be diverted into ethanol production, a proportionate quantity of sugar production will get reduced. With higher availability of sugarcane and surplus sugar production again in next year, it is estimated that a larger quantity of cane juice and B-molasses will get diverted to ethanol, and that a significant diversion will also happen in Maharashtra and Karnataka, in addition to UP.
Accordingly, it is estimated that the diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol will reduce sugar production by 15 lakh tonne in next season, as compared to the 8 lakh tonne diverted this year. However, ISMA will get a better idea of this diversion once the tenders happen and bids are given by millers for ethanol supplies, which will be sometime in September, which will be considered in the first advance estimates that ISMA prepares then. Therefore, after accounting for the reduction in sugar production due to diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol, it is estimated that sugar production in 2020-21 will be at around 30.5 million tonne, the press release said.
With an opening balance as on October 1, 2019 of 14.5 million tonne, estimated sugar production for the current season 2019-20 of around 27.2 mt, expected domestic sales of around 25 mt and exports of around 5.2 mt during the season, the opening stocks as on October 1, 2020 has been estimated to be around 11.5 mt, ISMA pointed out.