New Delhi: The country's sugar production rose 8.07 per cent to 21.93 million tonnes (MT) till February 15 in the ongoing marketing year 2018-19 from the year-ago period, industry body ISMA said on Wednesday.
However, the overall sugar output is pegged lower at 30.7 MT for the current marketing year (October-September) compared to 32.5 MT during 2017-18, it added.
According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), the recent hike in minimum selling price of sugar by Rs 2 per kg to Rs 31 will "generate additional revenue for the sugar mills and help them in payment of cane price arrears."
Cane arrears have touched over Rs 20,000 crore this year and the government raised the minimum selling price of sugar to improve the liquidity of cash-starved mills and enable them to clear the mounting cane dues.
Sharing the production update, ISMA said mills have manufactured 21.93 MT of sugar till February 15, higher than 20.35 MT in the year-ago period.
"Higher production this year is mainly because Maharashtra and Karnataka sugar mills started their crushing earlier this year. Overall, the country is expected to produce less sugar this season as compared to last season," it said.
Sugar production in Maharashtra, the country's leading producing state, rose to 8.29 MT from 7.47 MT, while the output in Uttar Pradesh, the second largest producer, was slightly lower at 6.39 MT from 6.45 MT in the said period.
Sugar output in Uttar Pradesh is likely to be lower than the last year because the cane yield per hectare is lower, ISMA said.
Sugar output in Karnataka, the country's third biggest producer, increased to 3.87 MT till February 15 from 3.07 MT.
The output in Tamil Nadu has increased to 3,50,000 tonnes from 2,90,000 tonnes, while in Gujarat to 7,78,000 tonnes from 7,25,000 tonnes.
India is the second largest sugar producer after Brazil. Its annual consumption is around 26 MT....