The unharvested acreage under sugarcane based on satellite images, and based on the factors like yield per hectare, drawl of cane by sugar mills, sugar recovery and water availability in reservoirs, the sugar mills body ISMA has revised its sugar production estimates for 2016-17 Sugar Season (SS) downwards from 234 lac tonnes of first advance estimates made in September 2016 to 213 lac tonnes now.
However, ISMA said, “ There is no reason to feel that there is any shortage of sugar in the country or there is need to import any sugar. ISMA is strongly against any speculation and does not believe in unnecessary spike in sugar prices due to such speculative tendencies on the part of few vested interests.”
ISMA believes that there is enough sugar to meet the domestic requirement and yet leave a healthy balance for the next sugar season, before new sugar from the new season is available in the market from end of October, 2017.
As per practice, ISMA procured satellite images of area harvested for crushing upto January 10, 2017, and the area under sugarcane which is yet to be harvested in the remaining period of the season. The factors like yield per hectare, drawl of cane by sugar mills, sugar recovery and water availability in reservoirs have been duly considered while making the revised analysis for the second advance estimates.
Considering that some sugar mills have closed their operations in the drought affected areas mostly in Maharashtra and Karnataka and field reports that sugarcane availability in these two States is lower than earlier expectations, as well as reports of lower yields per ha. of sugarcane and slightly lower sugar recoveries in parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, ISMA decided to revise its estimates of sugar production for 2016-17 SS.
Sugar production upto January 15, 2017 in the current season is 104.80 lac tonnes, around 5 percent lower than what was achieved last year on that date. Now that sugar mills, in the drought affected areas, have started closing down, the difference from last year will be higher as the season progresses.
The largest sugar producing State this year, namely, Uttar Pradesh(UP) is however, reporting better sugarcane crush and, therefore, may give marginally higher production as compared to the earlier estimates. The area under high yielding and high sugar recovery variety Co0238 is significantly more than last year because of which the production in UP is expected to be higher than last year.
The sugar sales/despatches during October – December 2016, that is, in the first quarter of the current season is significantly lower to that of last year by 5.5 lac tonnes, i.e. down by 8.5 percent. In the last sugar season 2015-16, total despatches by the mills were at 248.5 lac tons and as per the field reports, it is certain that current 2016-17 SS will be lower than that of last season.
ISMA said that the sales in January 2017 also seems to be lower as compared to last year, when sugar mills had sold 25 lac tonnes. Assuming that in the balance 8 months of the current season i.e. from February to September 2017, there is similar sugar sales in comparison to last year and assuming that the sugar sales/despatches are similar to last year, the sugar sales in the current season upto September 2017, will be around 242 lac tonnes.
The opening stocks of sugar as on 1st October 2016 for the current sugar season, was 77.5 lac tons. Considering 213 lac tonnes of sugar production as per 2nd advance estimates of ISMA, sugar despatches of 242 lac tonnes in the whole 2016-17 SS and a high opening balance of 77.5 lac tons for the season, the closing stock of sugar as on September 30 2017 will be 48.5 lac tons.
According to ISMA, there will be surplus sugar production as compared to domestic requirement in 2017-18 SS.