As on December 15, 2018, the 462 sugar mills were crushing sugarcane for the year 2018-19 sugar season and have produced 70.52 lakh tonnes of sugar. It is 1.48 lakh tonnes (2.1 percent) higher than the sugar production on the corresponding date of previous sugar season, of 69.04 lakh tonnes of sugar. Last year on the corresponding date, 476 mills were operating, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has said.
According to ISMA, the sugar production in Maharashtra and Karnataka are slightly higher than last season at the same time as the mills have started their sugarcane crushing earlier as compared to the previous season. On the other hand, UP sugar mills had started their crushing this year slightly later as compared to last year and hence have produced less sugar than the previous sugar season at the same time.
Due to lower than normal rainfall and heavy infestation of white grub in several sugarcane growing districts of Maharashtra, sugar production in some of the important sugarcane growing areas in Maharashtra will be adversely affected and therefore, Maharashtra is expected to produce less than last year.
ISMA has released a state-wise report on sugar production across the country. According to the report, in Maharashtra, 178 sugar mills are in operation and they have produced 29 lakh tonnes of sugar till December 15, 2018. In 2017-18 sugar season, there were 176 sugar mills in operation as on December 15 and they had produced 25.70 lakh tonnes. Average sugar recovery achieved so far is 10.18 percent as compared to 10.10 percent last year on the same date, ISMA has said.
In Uttar Pradesh, 116 mills have produced 18.94 lakh tonnes of sugar till December 15, 2018 lower than last year, when same number of sugar mills had together produced 23.37 lakh tonnes on the corresponding period.
The third largest producer of sugar, Karnataka, has produced 13.94 lakh tonnes of sugar till December 15, 2018. This is slightly higher than 11.24 lakh tonnes of sugar production in 2017-18 sugar season as by the same date. During the current sugar season, 63 sugar mills are in operation as on December 15, as compared to 62 operated on the corresponding date of 2017.
As regards Gujarat, 16 sugar mills are in operation and they have produced 3.10 lakh tonnes of sugar till December 15, 2018. In 2017-18 SS, by December 15, 2017, 17 sugar mills were in operation and they had produced 2.75 lakh tonnes of sugar till that date.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 18 sugar mills could start crushing by December 15, 2018 and they produced about 1.05 lakh tonnes of sugar till that date. Last year, 20 sugar mills were in operation by December 15, 2017 and they had produced 0.98 lakh tonnes.
There are five sugar mills in Tamil Nadu in operation and sugar production till December 15, 2018 was about 0.85 lakh tonnes, as compared to 0.47 lakh tonnes produced by 19 sugar mills by the corresponding date last year.
In regard to Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, there are 9, 16, 14 and 19 sugar mills are in operation respectively and they have produced 1.36 lakh tonnes, 0.35 lakh tonnes, 0.90 lakh tonnes and 0.65 lakh tonnes, respectively.