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Sugar Production to be Lower in Maharashtra This Year Due to Floods

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

The sugar production in Maharashtra would be lower than estimated after the floods destroyed crops and as some growers sell cane for feed.

Sugar output in Maharashtra may total to 5.3 million tons in the year starting 1st October 2019, if compared with a previous estimate of 6.44 million tons, told Shekhar Gaikwad, State’s sugar commissioner. He said the new total is half of last year’s produce that was estimated to be 10.7 million tons.

Around 1,00,000 hectares, out of 8,43,000 hectares of cane that will be available for crushing next season have been badly hit by the floods caused by excess rains in August, Gaikwad said.

According to the weather department, rainfall in Maharashtra has been about 30% above normal since 1st June. Earlier due to prolonged dry weather, there was cattle fodder shortages in the state. That is helping growers get good returns by selling cane for feed purpose. Cane prices, set by the Government, usually stay above the cost of fodder, except in unusual years when poor rainfall increase feed prices. India, which competes with Brazil as the top producer, swings between importer & exporter, depending upon the productivity.


Maharashtra growers are selling cane in the cattle-feed market for as much as Rs 3,500 a ton compared with a Government-fixed price of Rs 2,750 they expect from sugar mills in 2019-20, commissioner said. He added “The Maharashtra government will officially release the new sugar output estimate in a week”.

Around 1,400 cattle shelters have been established across the state to feed over 350,000 animals amid a fodder shortage. Another advantage is that growers are getting paid in cash for fodder, whereas sugar mills generally pay in instalments, Gaikwad said. He said in both ways its good because the animals are getting fodder and at the same time the sugar surplus will get reduced.

As per the Indian Sugar Mills Association, inventories are likely to remain high despite predictions that the sugar production could drop to a 3-year low of 28.2 million tons during 2019-20 from a record 32.95 million tons this year after dry weather parched fields. A bigger drop in output will decrease the record surplus, potentially curbing exports & supporting global prices.

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