India's 2013-14 sugar output looks positive: ISO chief
New Delhi: Sugar production in India in the next year looks positive despite concerns about drought situation in some states like Maharashtra, a top official of the International Sugar Organisation (ISO) said Monday.
Asked if drought in key sugarcane growing states would impact overall sugar output in India, London-based ISO Executive Director Peter Baron said, "Drought in some states is a concern. But we are positive about sugar production next year."
He however did not provide any estimates for sugar production during 2013-14 marketing year (October-September) in India. Sugar output this year is pegged at 24.5 million tonnes.
Due to drought this year, cane growers in Maharashtra and Karnataka have not yet started sugarcane planting. Drought in Maharashtra has been so severe that the state government has ordered saving water for drinking purpose.
Baron was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by the World Association of Beet and Cane Growers (WABCG).
On sugar decontrol, ISO chief said that he was "hopeful" of sugar decontrol soon. "Quicker the better as it would send an positive signal to global sugar market," he said.
"India is a very complicated country. Everybody speaks about decontrol but it is not that easy for the government to take decision as growers and consumers interest need to be taken into account," Baron said.
Speaking separately, National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd (NFCSFL) Managing Director Vinay Kumar said that the country's sugar output in 2013-14 marketing year could decline to 22-23 million tonnes, as against 24.5-25 million tonnes this year.
"It is too early to say but we see production to fall to 22-23 million tonnes next year because of drought in some states," Kumar told reporters.
The shortage of water in major parts of cane growing areas has affected the fresh planting in Maharashtra, he added.
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