Based on the satellite images procured in the latter part of June 2018, the total acreage under sugarcane in the country is estimated to be around 54.35 lakh hectares in 2018-19 SS, which is about 8% higher than 2017-18 sugar season’s cane area of around 50.42 lac ha. It is also noted that area is almost similar to the area reported in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and slightly below 54 lac ha.
Uttar Pradesh, the leading sugarcane producing State in the country, is estimated to have higher sugarcane area at 23.40 lakh hectares, as against 23.30 lac ha. in 2017-18 SS. ISMA is expecting a better yield in 2018-19 SS due to further increase in area under the high yielding cane variety Co0238. That will increase the sugarcane production and availability for crushing by sugar mills. Thus, sugar production in U.P. in 2018-19 SS is estimated to increase and be around 130 - 135 lakh tons, which was 120.5 lac tons in 2017-18 SS.
The other major sugar producing State, viz. Maharashtra’s cane area has gone up by about 25% in 2018-19 SS, which is mainly due to timely and adequate rainfall from June to September 2017. As against the cane area of 9.15 lac ha. in 2017-18 SS, area is expected to increase to 11.42 lac. Ha in 2018-19. The State recorded highest ever yield of about 108 Tons/ha in 2017-18, which is mainly attributed to well distributed and timely rainfall during SW monsoon of 2016 and 2017, good water availability in reservoirs and higher than normal percentage of plant cane. For season 2018-19, all other conditions being similar the yield is expected to be lower than 2017-18 SS due to higher percentage of ratoon cane (having lower yield) as plant cane of 2017-18 SS will get converted to ratoon cane. Sugar production is, therefore, estimated to be around 110 - 115 lac tons in 2018-19 SS, as against 107.15 lac tons produced in 2017-18 SS.
Similar to Maharashtra, due to timely and adequate rainfall from June to September 2017, sugarcane area in Karnataka also increased in 2018-19 SS. Area under sugarcane in 2018-19 SS is expected to be about 5.02 lac. Ha as against 4.15 lac ha. in 2017-18 SS. Sugar production in 2018-19 SS is estimated to be around 44.80 lac tons, as against 36.54 lac tons expected to be produced in 2017-18 SS.
Sugarcane area in Tamil Nadu in 2018-19 SS has increased to 2.60 lac ha. as against 2.01 lac ha. in 2017-18 SS. But, due to deficient rainfall in major cane growing districts during NE monsoon 2017, sugarcane yield is expected to increase marginally resulting in increase in sugar production. Sugar production is expected to be around 9.0 lac tons in 2018-19 SS as against 6.0 lac tons expected to be produced in 2017-18 SS.
During 2017-18 SS, till 30th June, 2018, about 321.95 lakh tons of sugar has been produced and another 0.5 – 0.6 lakh tons is expected to be produced in the special season till September, 2018 in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, taking total sugar production in 2017-18 SS to about 322.5 lac tons.
As per above, ISMA estimates production of 350 – 355 lakh tons of sugar in the season 2018-19. This is about 28 - 33 lac tons higher than the current 2017-18 SS production of around 322.5 lac tons. This is assuming normal rainfall.
The above is a preliminary estimate of sugarcane and sugar production in 2018-19 SS. After considering rainfall in July – September, 2018, water situation in reservoirs and second set of satellite images in September 2018 for across India, ISMA will review the analysis in September, 2018 and will release their 1st advance estimates for 2018-19 season. By that time, the crop will be more mature and there will be more clarity on the rainfall and water availability.