The output of sugar has fallen nearly 22 per cent to 232.74 lakh tonnes in the first half of the current marketing year that ends in September because of lower cane production, industry body Indian Sugar Mills Association has said.
The sugar marketing year runs from October to September. The country produced over 330 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2018-19 but output is estimated to decline to 260 lakh tonnes in 2019-20.
Isma has, however, assured that “there is enough sugar stock in the country and there will not be any scarcity”.
The spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown initially disrupted the movement of sugar because of poor availability of trucks. However, interventions by the food ministry and notifications by the home ministry have helped the mills resume dispatches over the past four-five days, Isma said.
According to Isma, as many as 457 sugar mills started crushing operations during the 2019-20 season, 70 less than 527 mills operating last year.
As on March 31, 271 mills had stopped functioning and only 186 were working on that date, mostly in North India. In comparison, last year as on March 31, 240 mills were operating.