Against the export target of six million tonnes (mt), sugar mills have signed contracts for around seven mt in the current sugar season and more than six mt of sugar have already been exported, an official statement said Thursday.
“Some sugar mills have also signed forward contracts for exports in the next sugar season that begins in October. The export of sugar has helped to maintain the balance between supply and demand and to stabilize the internal prices of sugar at the factory, ”the statement read.
According to the statement, issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the sugar mills bought sugar cane worth 91 billion rupees in the current season ending in September.
“In the current sugar season, the mills have purchased sugarcane for a record value of ₹ 90,872 crore and farmers have been paid around ₹ 81,963 crore of cane quotas. As of August 16, only cane arrears of ₹ 8,909 crore are outstanding. The increase in exports and the diversion of sugar cane towards ethanol has accelerated payments of the price of cane to farmers, according to the statement.
By comparison, sugar mills bought Rs 75,845 million worth of sugar cane in the previous season.
To find a permanent solution to the problem of excess sugar, the government is encouraging sugar mills to divert excess sugar cane to ethanol, which is mixed with gasoline. This not only serves as a green fuel, but also saves foreign exchange due to the importation of crude oil.
The income generated from the sale of ethanol by the mills also helps the sugar mills offset the fees that farmers pay for the price of cane. In the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, around 3.37 lakh tonnes (lt) and 9.26 lt of sugar, respectively, were diverted to ethanol.
In the current sugar campaign, more than 20 liters are likely to be diverted. In the following sugar season, it is estimated that around 35 liters of sugar will be diverted, according to the statement, adding that this could increase by 60 liters by 2024-25.