As on December 31, 2018, 501 sugar mills have produced 110.52 lakh tonnes of sugar, as compared to 103.56 lakh tonnes produced by 505 sugar mills as on December 31, 2017. The slightly higher production of 6.96 lakh tonnes is due to Maharashtra and Karnataka sugar mills started their crushing earlier this year. However, due to substantially lower rainfall and white grub infestation, Maharashtra will produce significantly lower quantity this year as compared to last. Overall, the country is expected to produce much less sugar this season as compared to last year, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has said.
According to ISMA, in Uttar Pradesh, 117 sugar mills have crushed about 286 lac tonnes of sugarcane and produced 31 lakh tonnes as on December 31, 2018, with an average recovery of 10.84 percent. In 2017-18 sugar season, 116 sugar mills were in operation on December 31, 2017 and had crushed around 328 lakh tonnes of cane to produce 33.3 lakh tonnes of sugar with an average recovery of 10.14 percent. However, the yield per hectare is lower than last season and hence the sugar production in the state is estimated to be lower than last season for the whole year.
· In Maharashtra, 184 sugar mills, which are in operation, have produced 43.98 lakh tonnes till December 31, 2018, as against 183 sugar mills which produced 38.39 lakh tonnes last year by this date. From the beginning of the season and till December 31, 2018, average sugar recovery percentage in the state stands at 10.50 percent as against 10.23 percent achieved for the corresponding period of 2017-18 SS. Due to lower availability of cane in Maharashtra and early start, the mills therein would be closing much earlier than last year, the sugar mills body has said.
The 63 sugar mills in Karnataka were in operation on December 31, 2018, who have produced 20.45 lakh tonnes of sugar, as compared to 16.83 lakh tonnes produced by 63 sugar mills in 2017-18 SS on December 31, 2017. In Gujarat, 16 sugar mills are operating for 2018-19 SS and they have produced 4.3 lakh tonnes of sugar till December 31, 2018. In 2017-18 SS, 17 sugar mills were in operation on this date who had produced 3.77 lakh tonnes of sugar till that date, ISMA has said.