New Delhi (PTI): India’s sugar production is likely to decline marginally to 30.5 million tonne in the next 2021-22 season as more sugarcane will be diverted for ethanol making, a senior government official said on Monday.

Sugar production is estimated to have reached 31 million tonne in the 2020-21 season (October-September), he said.

India is the world’s second biggest sugar producer after Brazil.

“Sugarcane crop by and large is good this year. We are expecting diversion of more cane for ethanol making and as a result sugar production will be slightly lower at 30.5 million tonne during 2021-22 season,” Joint Secretary in the Food Ministry Subodh Kumar Singh told PTI.

In the current season, cane meant for production of 2 million tonne sugar was diverted for ethanol making, while in the 2021-22 season cane meant for production of 3.5 million tonne of sugar will be diverted, he said.

However, sugar production will be sufficient to meet the domestic consumption, which is expected to increase by 3,00,000-4,00,000 tonne at 26.3-26.5 million tonne in 2021-22 season, he added.

The domestic consumption in the 2020-21 season is estimated to be 26 million tonne.

With the likely opening stock of sweetener is estimated at 9-9.5 million tonne and expected production of 30.5 million tonne, the total availability of sugar in the 2021-22 season will be 39.5 to 40 million tonne.

The domestic consumption is seen around 26.5 million tonne, while exports at 7 million tonne in the next season. The closing stock at the end of the next season would be around 6-6.5 million tonne.

According to the official, about Rs 83,000 crore cane dues have been cleared so far against the total Rs 91,000 crore payable in the current season.

“The balance of Rs 8,000 crore is left. In the next one month, arrear may come down further,” he added.


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