India, the world's second largest producer of sugar, will have 2.6 million tonnes more stock at the start of the 2010-11 sugar year in October, 2010, than a year ago, mainly on the back of higher imports.
According to the latest estimate released by the Indian Sugar Mills Association, the opening stock of sugar on October 1, 2010, will be 5.8 million tonnes as against 3.2 million tonnes on October 1, 2009.
The higher opening stock of sugar will help the government keep prices stable during the festival season, when demand generally goes up. Sugar prices have come down by nearly 40 per cent since mid-January and are currently ruling at Rs 30 per kg in the national capital.
As per the latest data, sugar production is estimated at 18.8 million tonnes in 2009-10 sugar year (October-September) and imports at 4.8 million tonnes, taking the total availability to 26.8 million tonnes in the current year.
Sugar consumption is estimated at 21 million tonnes in 2009-10. So the estimated closing stock as on September 30 is 5.8 million tonnes, ISMA said in a statement.
India, the world's largest consumer of sugar, is importing sugar from February, 2009, to meet domestic demand as production has been lower than the annual requirement.
The country had produced 14.7 million tonnes in 2008-09 and this year, the output is estimated at 18.8 million tonnes.
In 2010-11, ISMA has pegged sugar production at 25.5 million tonnes, which the government says will be enough to meet local demand.