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Sugar production in Karnataka increases by 54 per cent

Nagesh Prabhu


Karnataka contributes about 13.5 per cent of country's sugar production

Area under sugarcane increased marginally

at 4.56 lakh hectares


BANGALORE: Karnataka's sugar production has increased to 25.6 lakh tonnes for the sugar year ended September 2010 compared with 16.6 lakh tonnes produced in the previous year, an increase of 54 per cent.

Karnataka is the third largest producer of sugar in the country and contributes about 13.5 per cent of the total production. The average recovery of sugar achieved during the year stood at 10.66 per cent as against 10.34 per cent in the previous year (2008-09).

Increase in sugar production was owing to the availability of large quantity of cane during the year and high price offered by factories in south and north Karnataka. Factories offered prices ranging from Rs. 2,200 to Rs. 2,400 a tonne of cane. The prices for sugar (ex-factory) touched at Rs. 2,500 a quintal, according to officials in the South Indian Sugar Mills Association (SISMA).

During the year (2009-10), 51 mills crushed 239.75 lakh tonnes sugarcane against 160 lakh tonnes in the previous year, showing a growth of 49.3 per cent, SISMA officials said.

For the current sugar season (October 2010-September 2011), the SISMA has projected 25 per cent increase in sugar production at 32 lakh to 34 lakh tonnes. The mills are likely to crush 320 lakh tonnes of cane, a rise of about 25 per cent over 2009-10. The sugar recovery would be about 10.7 per cent. Normal monsoon contributed to the bummer crop.

Of the estimated cane production of 320 lakh tonnes, 260 lakh tonnes would be made available for sugar mills and the remaining generally goes for jaggery making and consumption towards fresh juice.

The area under cane planting increased marginally at 4.56 lakh hectares compared with 4.52 lakh hectares in 2009-10.

The farmers increased area under cane planting due to higher cane prices offered by the sugar mills in the previous year, sugar industry sources said.

Already 14 mills in southern and central parts of the State have commenced production. Mills in north Karnataka are likely to commence crushing from next month, the industry sources said.

The mills have announced advance payment of Rs. 1,800 a tonne against remunerative price (FRP) of Rs. 1,391 announced by the Centre. This is likely to put pressure on the margins of millers, as they don't expect higher prices for the sugar during next season owing to excess production in the country.

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