The government’s supply estimate for 2016-17 comes amid reports that India, the world’s second biggest sugar producer after Brazil, might become a net importer due to likely fall in domestic sugar output in the wake of expected decline in cane production due to two consecutive years of drought.
“As such, notwithstanding any shortfall in sugar production during 2016-17 sugar season (estimated 23-24 million tonnes), the total availability in India (30-31 million tonnes) would be sufficient to meet the domestic consumption,” the Food Ministry said in a statement. About 7.3 million tonnes will carried forward for the 2016-17 season. “There is, therefore, likely to be no shortage of domestically produced sugar in India,” it said.
In the ongoing 2015-16 season, India had started with a carryover stock of 9 million tonnes of sugar. The production this year is estimated at about 25.3 million tonnes, as against the demand of 25.5 million tonnes. “Exports this year being low at about 1.5 million tonnes, the stock position at the close of the current sugar season will stand at 7.3 million tonnes which will be carried forward for the next sugar season 2016-17,” it added.
It may be noted that sugar production in the ongoing 2015-16 season (October-September) is estimated to be lower at 25.3 million tonnes, as against 28.3 million tonnes in the previous year. As per the industry data, mills have manufactured 24.3 million tonnes of sugar till April 15 of this season.