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Indias sugar production declined over 20 per cent till April 15 in the ongoing sugar season (2019-20 October-September) against the corresponding period of the previous year, as per the production data released on Thursday by the apex industry body, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
According to ISMA, sugar mills across the country have produced 247.80 lakh tonnes of sugar till April 15, which is around 64 lakh tonnes shorter than the 311.75 lakh tonnes produced at the same time last year.
However, as compared to 172 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane till April 15 last year, only 139 sugar mills were crushing sugarcane till April 15 this year, said the industry body.
As per the data released by ISMA, sugar mills of Uttar Pradesh, India's largest sugar producer, have produced 108.25 lakh tonnes of sugar till April 15 2020, as compared to 105.55 lakh tonnes produced at the same time in the last season.
In Maharashtra, the second largest sugar producer in the country, sugar production till April 15 2020 was 60.12 lakh tonnes, compared to 106.71 lakh tonnes produced in the same period last year, almost 46.6 lakh tonnes less.
Karnataka is the third largest sugar producing state in the country where 33.82 lakh tonnes of sugar have been produced this year till the aforesaid period while the mills of the state had produced 43.20 lakh tonnes of sugar in the same period last year.
In Tamil Nadu, sugar production was 4.95 lakh tonnes compared to 6.85 lakh tonens produced in the corresponding period of last year.
Gujarat has produced 8.80 lakh tonnes of sugar till April 15 against 11.19 lakh tonnes produced in the same period last year.
The remaining states -- Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Odisha -- have collectively produced 31.86 lakh tones till April 15, 2020, the ISMA data showed.
Meanwhile, the ISMA also said that closure of restaurants, malls and cinema halls amid the nationwide lockdown has impacted the demand for sweetened products like ice cream, beverages, juices, confectionaries and sweets, thus affecting the demand for sugar.
It is generally expected that the domestic pipeline, which usually holds 10-15 lakh tonnes of sugar, has dried up during the lockdown, said the apex sugar industry body.
According to the ISMA, exports have also been affected due to the sudden drop in global sugar prices, but the recent depreciation of rupee is giving some relief to the exporters.