New Delhi: Notwithstanding delays in crushing by sugar mills, production of the sweetener in the country rose by almost 19 percent to 45.84 lakh tonnes till December 15 in the 2011-12 season, industry body ISMA said Monday.
India -- the world's second-largest sugar producer and biggest consumer -- had produced 38.63 lakh tonnes of the sweetener in the same period last year.
The sugar season runs from October to September.
"Even though the mills started their crushing slightly late this year, especially in Maharashtra, the production this year has registered an overall jump of 18.7 per cent," the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.
Maharashtra -- the country's largest sugar-producing state -- has manufactured 17.50 lakh tonnes of the sweetener, as of December 15, compared to 16.25 lakh tonnes in the same period last year, it added.
Output in India's second-largest sugar producing state, Uttar Pradesh, rose by 50 percent to 12.85 lakh tonnes in the review period from 8.55 lakh tonnes last year.
Sugar output in Karnataka was higher as well, at 8.25 lakh tonnes till December 15 of the current crop year, compared to 7.35 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
"As against 445 mills which were operational on December 15, 2010, 452 mills have started operations as of December 12, 2011," the apex body of private sugar millers in the country noted.
ISMA has pegged the country's total sugar output at 26 million tonnes in the 2011-12 season, slightly higher than the government's forecast of 24.6 to 25 million tonnes, while annual demand is estimated at 22 million tonnes.