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Sugar output down 44% in Oct on delayed crushing in Maharashtra

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India’s sugar output fell 44.38 per cent at 1.04 lakh tonne in October, the first month of the 2016-17 season, due to delayed cane crushing in the top producing state Maharashtra, industry body ISMA said on November 4.

Sugar production stood at 1.87 lakh tonnes in the same month of the 2015-16 season (October-September).

“Crushing operations for the current season have been started… Till October 31, 2016, sugar mills have produced 1.04 lakh tonnes of sugar, as against 1.87 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year,” Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.

The sugar output was lower in October because cane crushing in Maharashtra, India’s top sugar producing state, has been delayed. Even mills in Uttar Pradesh started crushing operations in the second fortnight of October, it said. In all, 28 mills started crushing operations last month as compared to 65 mills a year ago.

“During 2015-16 season, 30 mills in Maharashtra were operated in October 2015. However, during 2016-17 season, Maharashtra mills delayed their starting so as to get the cane matured further to get better sugar recovery from standing cane,” ISMA said.

These mills are expected to start crushing from tomorrow. Similarly, Gujarat mills are expected to start this week, it said. In Uttar Pradesh, the country’s second biggest sugar producer, three mills had started cane crushing in the second half of October and are estimated to have produced 12,000 tonne till month-end, while there was negligible output in the year-ago period.

In Karnataka, the country’s third largest producer, 19 mills started operations and manufactured 69,000 tonnes of the sweetener last month, as against 12,000 tonnes in the year-ago period.

In Tamil Nadu, four mills were in operation and manufactured 20,000 tonnes of sugar in October this year, as against eight mills that produced 31,000 tonnes in the year-ago period. One mill each in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh was in operation and together produced about 3,000 tonne last month.

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