Sweet news has added more flavour to the festival season.
In Sugar Season (Oct-Sep) 2021-22, a record of more than 5000 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) of sugarcane was produced in the country out of which about 3574 LMT of sugarcane was crushed by sugar mills to produce about 394 LMT of sugar (Sucrose).
India has in the process emerged as the world’s largest producer and second-largest exporter of sugar. Brazil produced about 32 million ton of sugar in 2021-22. India had bumper sugar production of 35.9 million ton during the October-September season.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution also said that the season has proven to be a ‘watershed season’ for the Indian Sugar Sector.
The country also recorded the highest sugar exports of over 109 lakh metric ton.
“All records of sugarcane production, sugar production, sugar exports, cane procured, cane dues paid, and ethanol production were made during the season,” an official spokesman said.
Another shining highlight of the season has been the highest exports of about 109.8 LMT, that too with no financial assistance, which was being extended up to 2020-21.
“Supportive international prices and Indian Government Policy led to this feat of Indian Sugar Industry. These exports earned foreign currency of about Rs. 40,000 crores for the country,” the official said.
The exports earned foreign currency of about Rs 40,000 crore. It said, the success story of the sugar industry is the outcome of synchronous and collaborative efforts of Central and State Governments, farmers, and sugar mills with a supportive overall ecosystem for business in the country.
Timely government interventions since the last 5 years have been crucial in building the sugar sector step by step from taking them out of financial distress in 2018-19 to the stage of self-sufficiency in 2021-22.
During Sugar Season 2021-22, sugar mills procured sugarcane worth more than 1.18 lakh crore and released payment of more than Rs 1.12 lakh crore with no financial assistance (subsidy) from Government of India.
Thus, cane dues at the end of sugar season are less than Rs 6,000 crore, indicating that 95% of cane dues have already been cleared. It is also noteworthy that for the season 2020-21, more than 99.9% cane dues are cleared.
The central government earlier this year capped sugar exports at 100 LMT from June 1, 2022 anticipating a surge in demand during the festive season that could have driven prices higher. As India was seeing a record sugar production and that the restriction was precautionary, officials said.