New Delhi, March 6 : Sugar mills have offered to supply 51 crore litres of ethanol, produced from B heavy molasses/sugarcane juice for the first time, which will lead to a reduction in sugar production by five lakh tonnes, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said on Wednesday.
"Till the end of February 2019 -- in the first three months of current year's supply period, about 12 crore litres of ethanol have been supplied - made from B heavy/sugarcane juice.
This has in turn reduced about one lakh tonnes of sugar production in the current season so far," it said in a statement.
It also said 466 sugar mills have produced 247 lakh tonnes of sugar till February-end as compared to 231.77 lakh tonnes by 457 mills during the corresponding period last year.
In Maharashtra, sugar production as on February-end was 92.1 lakh tonnes, compared to 84.54 lakh tonnes produced last year in the same period.
In Uttar Pradesh, 117 sugar mills produced 73.2 lakh tonnes till February 28 against 73.61 lakh tonnes on the same date of last year.
In Karnataka, 41.69 lakh tonnes of sugar has been produced till February 28 while Tamil Nadu has produced 4.7 lakh tonnes.
Total sugar production in the country is expected to be around 30.7 million tonnes in 2018-19 as against 32.25 million tonnes in 2017-18.
The ISMA said cane arrears of Rs 20,159 crore, as on February 22, was huge and never recorded in the past in the month of February in any year.
"However, with the Government deciding to give soft loans of over Rs 10,000 crore and increasing the minimum ex-mill price to Rs 31 per kilo, the arrears may get reduced faster.
But a very high monthly sugar sale quota fixed for March 2019 has reduced the sugar prices by over Rs 100 per quintal, which will adversely impact the millers and negate some of the good steps taken by the government recently," it said.