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India's Sugar Output Falls 7.7% to 112 Lakh Tons in Oct-Dec: NFCSF

NFCSF reports a 7.7 percent decline in sugar production for the first quarter of the 2023-24 season, primarily due to decreased output in key states.

KJ Staff
Representative Image (Courtesy: Pexels)

India's sugar production faced a notable dip of 7.7 percent to 112 lakh tonnes during the initial three months of the ongoing 2023-24 season, as per the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Limited (NFCSF), a cooperative body. This decline, compared to the previous October-December period of the 2022-23 season, marked a drop from 121.35 lakh tonnes.

Projections by NFCSF anticipate the total sugar output for the 2023-24 season to be around 305 lakh tonnes, notably lower than the 330.90 lakh tonnes achieved in the preceding season of 2022-23. It's worth noting that the sugar season spans from October to September.

NFCSF's latest data release reveals that 511 factories processed 1,223 lakh tonnes of sugarcane until December 2023 in the ongoing season.

Key states in sugar production, namely Maharashtra and Karnataka, experienced reduced output during this season's October-December period. NFCSF President Jaiprakash Dandegaonkar attributed this decline partially to the government's restrictions on ethanol production from sugarcane juice, estimating the country's available new sugar for domestic consumption to be 305 lakh tonnes.

Maharashtra, leading in sugar production, witnessed a decrease from 47.40 lakh tonnes to 38.20 lakh tonnes in the same period. Similarly, Karnataka, the third-largest producer, saw a decrease from 26.70 lakh tonnes to 24 lakh tonnes.

Contrarily, Uttar Pradesh, the second-largest sugar-producing state, showed an increase in sugar production from 30.80 lakh tonnes to 34.65 lakh tonnes in this season until December.

NFCSF highlighted the country's average sugar recovery at 9.17 percent, expecting a potential increase in sugar yield as winter progresses.

By season-end, projections estimate Uttar Pradesh to produce 115 lakh tonnes, Maharashtra 90 lakh tonnes, Karnataka 42 lakh tonnes, Tamil Nadu 12 lakh tonnes, and Gujarat 10 lakh tonnes.

NFCSF's Managing Director Prakash Naiknavare hinted at a potential relaxation in ethanol production restrictions. This move aims to accommodate the estimated increase of about 15 lakh tonnes from the initial 290 lakh tonnes of sugar production, with NFCSF and the Indian Sugar Mills Association planning to raise this issue with the central government.

(With PTI inputs)

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