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ISMA Appeals to Government for Permission to Divert Additional 10-12 Lakh Tonnes of Sugar Towards Ethanol Production


Published Date: January 31, 2024
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On Tuesday, ISMA (India Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association) announced that it has formally requested the government to authorise the diversion of an additional 10-12 lakh tonnes of sugar for ethanol production in the ongoing season, responding to indications of heightened output. The government, considering the potential decline in sugar production due to drought conditions in parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, has already set a limit of 17 lakh tonnes for sugar diversion for ethanol production in the current 2023-24 season.

As per ISMA's information, sugar production as of January 15, 2024, in the ongoing 2023-24 sugar season has reached 149.52 lakh tonnes, compared to 157.87 lakh tonnes produced by the same date last year. The number of operational factories stands at 520 this year, surpassing the 515 mills that were operational on the corresponding date last year.

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Overall Positive Outlook For Sugar Production

As per practice, ISMA shall be procuring mid-harvest satellite imagery shortly and will come out with its 2nd advance estimates of sugar production by the end of this month.However, as per reports, recent weather has been favourable for the standing cane crop and cane commissioners of major states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka have done upward revision in their sugar production estimates for 2023-24 SS to the tune of 5 – 10% each. In addition to this, the next year crop outlook also appears better than what was thought a month ago.

According to the ISMA, we also believe that sugar production in the current year could be higher than what was expected earlier. Accordingly, it has requested the Government to allow additional 10-12 lakh tonnes of sugar diversion towards ethanol production. Even after allowing additional sugar for production of ethanol, closing sugar balance shall be sufficient to cater a couple of months into the next season.

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