Maharashtra cane crushing season to be delayed
Decision to start sugar mill ops to be a priority for the new state govt that comes into power.
Taking a decision on when to start operations of sugar mills will be on the priority list of the new government that comes to power in the state by October-end.
“We expect the crushing season to now begin only after Diwali (which falls on October 27 this year),” said Sanjay Khatal, managing director, Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation. “A committee of ministers takes a call on when to begin the crushing season. This can now happen only when the new government comes to power in the state after the assembly election.”
Earlier, the sugar industry was mulling over starting the crushing season from the first week of December because of the damage caused by floods to the standing sugarcane crop in the districts of Kolhapur and Sangli. However, there are also concerns about the sugarcane from the drought-prone areas of Marathwada, which did not receive adequate rainfall in the monsoon season this year. A large number of mills from this region will not be able to start this year owing to the lack of sugarcane, which was used as fodder to save the cattle since 2018 was a drought year.
However, the delay in production of new season’s sugar will not impact sugar prices as India is sitting on large stock of surplus sugar. The Centre has fixed a sugar sales quota of 2.1 million tonne for October, which the industry had initially thought to be lower than expected. “However, after a marginal rise of ₹20 per 100 kg of sugar after the quota was announced, there hasn’t been any further rise in sugar prices. They have remained stable,” said Ashok Jain, president, Bombay Sugar Merchants’ Association.