India emerges as world’s largest producer & consumer of Sugar
India overtakes other countries to become the world’s largest producer, consumer of Sugar, and second largest exporter of sugar.
A record amount of sugarcane—more than 5000 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT)—was produced in the nation during the sugar season Oct. to Sep. (2021–22), of which around 3574 LMT was crushed by sugar mills to make about 394 LMT of sugar (Sucrose). Out of this, 359 LMT of sugar was produced by sugar mills, while 35 LMT of sugar was diverted to the manufacturing of ethanol. As a result, India has surpassed all other countries to become the world’s largest producer and consumer.
Exports brought in Rs. 40,000 crores in foreign currency
The season saw the creation of all records pertaining to sugarcane production, sugar production, sugar exports, cane procurement, cane dues paid, and ethanol production. The largest exports of 109.8 LMT, which were made without any financial aid and continued through 2020–21, is another achievement of the season. This achievement of the Indian sugar industry was made possible by favourable worldwide prices and Indian Government Policy. These exports brought in roughly Rs. 40,000 crores in foreign currency for the nation.
In addition to having a significant impact on the rural livelihoods of the approximately 5 lakh directly employed individuals in sugar mills and the 50 million sugarcane farmers, the sugar industry is a major agro-based sector. Additionally, jobs are created in a number of ancillary activities related to transportation, machine repair, and the provision of agricultural inputs.
The current annual output of the Indian sugar industry is approximately Rs. 80,000 crores. As of 31 July 2017, the country had 732 installed sugar factories with enough crushing capacity to generate around 339 lakh MT of sugar. The capacity is split almost evenly between units in the cooperative and private sectors.
More than 99.9% of cane dues are paid for Sugar Season 2020–21
Without any financial help (subsidy) from the government, sugar mills bought sugarcane worth more than 1.18 lakh crore and released payments totaling more than 1.12 lakh crore during Sugar Season(SS) 2021–22. Therefore, the fact that the cane debt at the end of the sugar season is less than 6,000 crore indicates that 95% of the cane debt has already been paid. It is also significant that more than 99.9% of the cane dues are paid for SS 2020–21.
Around 18,000 crores in revenue made from the sale of ethanol
The growth of ethanol as a biofuel sector in the last five years has greatly aided the sugar sector, as the conversion of sugar to ethanol has resulted in better financial positions for sugar mills due to faster payments, reduced working capital requirements, and less fund blockage due to less surplus sugar with mills.
Sugar mills/distilleries made around 18,000 crores in revenue from the sale of ethanol during 2021-22, which also played a role in the early settlement of farmers’ cane dues. Sugar diversion to ethanol is predicted to expand from 35 LMT to 50 LMT in the upcoming season, generating approximately 25,000 crores in revenue for sugar mills.
The government has been encouraging sugar mills to divert sugar to ethanol and export surplus sugar so that sugar mills can pay cane dues to farmers on time and mills can operate in better financial conditions.