New Delhi: India's sugar production fell by 21 percent to 85.5 lakh tonnes till January 15 of the current marketing year that started in October on account of delay in crushing operations, according to industry data.
Sugar output stood at 108 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period. Marketing year runs from October to September.
"Sugar production in the country is in full swing. Till 15th January 2014, the country has produced 85.50 lakh tonnes of sugar with 484 mills under crushing operations," Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.
ISMA noted that production is catching up, evident from the fact that drop in sugarcane production has narrowed to 21 percent from 29 percent a fortnight back.
Sugar production is lagging behind as sugarcane crushing operation started late in Uttar Pradesh because of stand-off between industry and state government on high cane price.
Production in Maharashtra has declined to 31 lakh tonnes till January 15 of 2013-14 marketing year compared with 37.7 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
Uttar Pradesh's production has dipped by 28 percent to 19.8 lakh tonnes.
"Across UP, yields are reported on the lower side compared to last year, but this could be compensated with higher reported sugar recoveries, which is about 0.04 per cent more than last year," ISMA said.
Production in Karnataka has fallen to 16 lakh tonnes from about 20 lakh tonnes, while output in Andhra Pradesh fell to 3.85 lakh tonnes from 4.6 lakh tonnes during the period under review.
Tamil Nadu has produced about 2.8 lakh tonnes of sugar during October 1-January 15 period against 4.90 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
"Till 31st December, 2013, sugar mills have produced 5.5 lakh tonnes of raw sugar. Exports of both white and raws of about 5.3 lakh tonnes has happened from October 2013 till December 2013," ISMA said.
This month, the association would review initial production estimates of 250 lakh tonnes for 2013-14 marketing year.
India, the world's second largest producer and biggest consumer, had produced 251 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2012-13. The annual domestic consumption stands at around 230 lakh tonnes.
First Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014, 14:26