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The country's sugar production has touched 13.73 lakh tonne (lt) till November 15 of the ongoing 2017-18 season, up 79 per cent from the year-ago period, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said today.
ISMA has pegged the output at 25.1 million tonne in 2017-18 season as against 20.2 million tonne in the last sugar season (October-September).
In a statement, ISMA said higher output so far was on account of early crushing operation.
As many as 313 sugar mills were under operation till November 15 of this season, as against 222 mills in the same period last year, it said.
Since surplus output is expected this season, ISMA said it has demanded that the government withdraw the stock holding limits on sugar traders with immediate effect.
"With surplus sugar availability and lower sugar offtake than expected, continuance of stock holding limit on traders at this stage is affecting buying interests. This will affect cash flows, which may prove detrimental to the interests of sugar producers and very soon may impact their paying capacity to the sugarcane farmers," it noted.
The government has extended the stock holding limit on traders by two months till December 31.
As per the latest data, mills have produced a total of 13.73 lt sugar till November 15 of this season as against 7.67 lt in the year-ago period.
Of this, mills in Uttar Pradesh - leading sugar producing state - have produced 5.67 lt as against 1.93 lt in the same period last year.
Maharashtra - the country's second largest sugar producer, has manufactured 3.26 lt so far this season as against 1.92 lt a year ago.
"The main contributors to the higher production of sugar are the sugar mills in UP and Maharashtra," ISMA said.
Sugar output in Karnataka till November 15 of this season is almost same as that in the year-ago period. The production situation in other states is almost similar to last year, it added.
According to ISMA, sugar offtake from mills during last two months was lower. "With higher production in 2017-18 season, the sugar sales need to improve to ensure better cash flows and a stable sugar prices," it added.