India's sugar production may exceed the earlier estimate of 16 million tonnes (MT) in the current season on the back of higher output projection in two major producing states, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has said.
"Sugar production will be more than 16 MT this year. The latest reports from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh showed an improvement in production," Pawar had said last week.
Higher production estimate coupled with the Uttar Pradesh government lifting the ban on processing of imported raw sugar in the state will help improve domestic availability and ease pressure on sugar prices, he had said.
"This will definitely have impact on sugar prices... It will ultimately help in bringing down the prices," Pawar had said. While speaking in Parliament last week, the Minister had also said sugar prices would stabilise at Rs 35-36/kg.
At present, retail sugar price is ruling at Rs 39-40 a kg across the country, compared with Rs 23 a kg in the year-ago period.
Meanwhile, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) President Vivek Saraogi said, "A slight increase in sugar output particularly in UP and Maharashtra has pushed up total production."
Sugar season runs from October to September, but crushing of sugarcane normally ends in April in Maharashtra and UP, which together produces more than 60 per cent of the country's total sugar output.