How much sugar will India produce next season?
Based on what the commodity market knows, it is estimated that India will produce 32.5 million tons of sugar in 2023/2024. This is a slight decrease compared to the previous season. However, this is 5.5 million tons more than consumption, creating a surplus of much sugar that could be exported.
The Indian sugarcane area is not likely to decrease. Sugar prices have been rising for over a decade and there is no reason to suggest that we will see a reduction in area in /2024.
Even without an increase in sugar prices, sugarcane is very attractive to India’s farmers because government policies are designed to support the large rural population. Much of the sugar cane grown will be used to produce ethanol, both for the 2023/2024 season and beyond.
Next season, another one million tons of sucrose is expected to be used to produce ethanol, bringing the total sucrose use to 5.5 million tons. This follows India’s plan to reach E20 fuels (gasoline blended with 20% ethanol) by 2025, with ethanol from sugar production as a key feedstock.
Sugarcane harvest and government policy
Almost everyone was surprised by the sugar harvest in the last two seasons. In the 2021/2022 marketing year, initial estimates significantly underestimated sugar production. The opposite happened this season with estimates falling by as much as 4 million tons during the season.
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