New Delhi, Sep. 1 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said that the new sugar season will begin with much lower stocks, as the production will be hit by lower sugar recovery from cane after the failure of monsoon rains.
“The production of sugar in India during year 2008 and 2009 sugar season has not been adequate to meet the domestic demand of the country. We started with very comfortable opening balance that was around 10 million tonnes of sugar on 1st October 2008. However we expect sugar production during 2009 and 2010 definitely less…somewhat 8-22 billion tonnes,” Pawar told reporters.
Recently, the head of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd, J.B. Patel had said India’s opening stocks would be at 2.7 million tonnes, down three quarters from 10 million tonnes on October 1, 2008.
India’s dwindling stocks and rising demand have helped raw sugar futures surge to the highest in nearly three decades on prospects of large purchases by the world’s top sugar consumer.
Weak monsoon rains have further raised supply concerns in India.
Many Indian farmers abandoned cane cultivation last year as they found wheat more attractive after the government raised the purchase price for the grain handsomely.
India had exported five million tonnes of sugar last year, but it swiftly turned into a large importer to counter low supply and rising prices.
Sugar industry officials say the government should lift controls on the sugar sector to correct the demand-supply mismatch. (ANI)