The government may also scrap the import duty on sugar after UP state assembly elections to control its prices.
New Delhi: India may need to import sugar soon to fulfil the deficit in its production, said analysts.
According to Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) production of sugar is down by 18.5 per cent between October-February period.
“Due to tight carryover stocks, country may need to import sugar, later in the season to fulfil domestic stocks of around 6.4 million tonnes for three months to meet demand until cane crushing gathers pace by December,” said Ritesh Kumar Sahu, agri commodities analyst at Angel Broking.
The government may also scrap the import duty on sugar after UP state assembly elections to control its prices. Currently, import of raw and white sugar attracts 40 per cent customs duty.
During the current 2016-17 season which began on 1st October 2016 and till 28th February 2017, sugar mills have produced 162.45 lakh tons of sugar, as against 199.43 lakh tons produced last year in the corresponding period, said ISMA.
As on 28th February 2017, 257 sugar mills are continuing their crushing operations, whereas in 2015-16, 390 mills were in operation on the same date, it said.
ISMA said that the drought in Southern and Western part of the country during the last two years has majorly impacted sugarcane production, including yields per hectare, in these region.
This has been the major contributor towards substantially lower sugar production in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, AP and TS, Gujarat also seems to have been affected, though to a lower extent, as compared to the other states in this region.