The world’s largest producer of the sweetener is India. It is expected to have a 7% decrease in sugar output this year. This as a result of reduced cane yields brought on by unpredictable weather. Which might hurt exports. Farmers, millers, and dealers predicted the decline.
Reduced sugar exports from India. The second-largest exporter of the commodity globally, could increase market prices. And free up more shipments from rivals Brazil and Thailand.
Pradip Jagtap, a farmer from the Solapur district of Maharashtra, the western state that produces the most sugar in India, stated, “The crop was simply looking like last year but as we started harvesting we saw that yields were quite poor.”
From his nine-acre allotment, Jagtap could only harvest 530 tonnes of cane this year as opposed to 750 tonnes the year before. Like Jagtap, the 192 additional farmers from Maharashtra’s 11 main cane-producing districts told Reuters that the cane crop was harmed by prolonged dry weather during the summer and then by severe rains.
The hard summer was followed by an excessive amount of rain starting in July, according to Kolhapur farmer Baban Karpe. “The produce didn’t receive any sunlight for weeks since the fields were flooded.”
Farmers estimated a 15% decline in cane output on average. But in some areas they said the loss per hectare would reach 35%.
However, a senior official of a sugar mill and a trader with a trade house predicted that a 15% decline in cane yields might reduce Maharashtra’s sugar production to 11.7 million tonnes. Due to their lack of authorization to speak to the media, both declined to be identified. Cane growers in Maharashtra and the neighboring state of Karnataka had unfavorable weather. Karnataka’s sugar production is therefore expected to decline this year from 6 million tonnes to 5.5 million tonnes. This according to the mill official.
According to a previously unreported projection by the millers, lower sugar production in Maharashtra and Karnataka might reduce India’s sugar output from last year’s record 35.8 million tonnes to 33.3 million tonnes in the current 2022–23 year.
However, if production falls, the government might just sanction a tiny portion of exports in the second tranche. Or it might even decide against approving any more, according to a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading house. Who asked to remain anonymous in accordance with his company’s policy.
According to a senior government official who wished to remain anonymous, India would only permit exports after it was certain that there would be sufficient supplies to meet the estimated 27.5 million tonnes of local demand.