New Delhi: Sugar output in India may drop to a three-year low next season from a record as dry weather shrivels cane plants in some major growing areas of the country that vies with Brazil as the world’s top grower.
Production may slide to 28 million to 29 million tons in the year that begins 1 October from 33 million tons this year, said Prakash Naiknavare, managing director of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd.
Droughts are withering cane fields in parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and the monsoon is delayed, reducing prospects for the coming crop. A lower harvest would trim a record domestic surplus, potentially curtailing exports and supporting global prices. India swings between being a sugar importer and exporter, depending on the size of local output.
“Parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka are reeling under drought, which is adversely affecting cane productivity and sugar recovery," Naiknavare said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Production will also depend on this year’s monsoon rains."