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Sugar output in 2021-22 to remain flat at 310 lakh ton: ISMA

New Delhi,  India”s sugar production is estimated to remain flat at around 310 lakh tonnes in the next marketing year starting October on higher diversion of cane juice for ethanol manufacturing, according to industry body ISMA.

Sugar marketing year runs from October to September.

The total area under coverage for sugarcane is estimated to be around 54.55 lakh hectares in 2021-22 marketing year, which is about 3 per cent higher than the cane area of around 52.88 lakh hectares in the current year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.

In the current 2020-21 marketing year, sugar production has touched 307 lakh tonnes so far and about 2 lakh tonnes more sugar is expected to be produced in the special season in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

This will take the total sugar production in 2020-21 to about 309 lakh tonnes.

“…after accounting for the reduction in sugar production due to diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol, ISMA estimates sugar production in 2021-22 at around 310 lakh tonnes of sugar,” ISMA said.

This will be similar to the current year”s sugar production, it added.

The association has estimated that the diversion of cane juice and B-molasses to ethanol will reduce sugar production by about 34 lakh tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year, as compared to about 21 lakh tonnes estimated to be diverted in the ongoing marketing year.

However, ISMA said it will get a better idea of this diversion once the tenders happen and bids are given by millers for ethanol supplies, which will be sometime in October.

The preliminary estimate was finalised at a meeting held by ISMA on Wednesday wherein representatives from sugar-producing States from across the country were present.

The images of the cane area, field reports regarding expected yield, sugar recovery, drawal percentage, impact of previous and current year”s rainfall, water availability in reservoirs, expected rainfall during monsoon and other related aspects were considered.

According to ISMA, Uttar Pradesh is estimated to have a sugarcane area of 23.12 lakh hectares, as against 23.07 lakh hectares in 2020-21.

The estimated sugar output in UP, without considering diversion for production of ethanol in 2021-22, is expected to be around 119.27 lakh tonnes.

Maharashtra”s cane area has gone up by about 11 per cent from 11.48 lakh hectares in 2020-21 to 12.75 lakh hectares in 2021-22.

The estimated sugar production is expected to be around 121.28 lakh tonnes in 2021-22, without diversion into ethanol.

Sugarcane area in Karnataka is slightly higher in 2021-22 at 5.22 lakh hectare as against 5.01 lakh hectare in 2020-21. The sugar output in 2021-22 is therefore estimated to be around 48.74 lakh tonnes, without considering any diversion of sugar into ethanol.

The remaining states are expected to collectively produce about 54.60 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2021-22 without diversion into ethanol.

The total sugar production is estimated at nearly 344 lakh tonnes during the 2021-22 marketing year, without the diversion of cane juice and molasses into ethanol.

In the current season, till July 5, the total contracted quantity of ethanol is 333 crore litres.

Ethanol manufactured from sugarcane juice and B-Heavy molasses (BHM) is expected to be 230 crore litres, which translates into the diversion of around 21 lakh tonnes of sugar into ethanol.

“Since a significant quantity of sugarcane juice/syrup and B-molasses will again be diverted into ethanol production, a proportionate quantity of sugar will get diverted in next season also,” ISMA said.

With higher ethanol production capacity and continued surplus sugarcane next year, a larger quantity of cane juice /syrup and B-molasses will get diverted to ethanol, it added.

During the next year 2021-22, since the target of 10 per cent blending is expected to be achieved, about 450 crore litres of ethanol would be required.

This will be about 117 crore litres more than the expected supplies in 2020-21.

“Assuming that most of the additional quantity of 117 crore litres will come from sugarcane juice and BHM to meet the target, it will translate into the diversion of another about 13 lakh tonnes of sugar as compared to the previous year.”

“This would mean a total of approx. 34 lakh tonnes of sugar will be diverted into ethanol next season,” ISMA said.

The association said the opening stock of sugar in 2021-22 will reduce to 87 lakh tonnes from 107 lakh tonnes of opening stock in the current marketing year.

The opening stock of sugar in October 2020 was about 107 lakh tonnes, while sugar production is estimated at around 309 lakh tonnes in 2020-21.

The domestic sales could be around 260 lakh tonnes and exports of around 70 lakh tonnes during 2020-21. PTI