MUMBAI More than two dozen mills in India's top sugar producing Maharashtra state have stopped crushing due to cane shortage while many more mills are likely to shut before February end, a producers' body said on Tuesday.
Sugar mills in Maharashtra typically operate between November to April, but this year cane supplies have fallen due to back-to-back droughts.
Out of 147 sugar mills that started operations this year, 25 mills have stopped crushing as on Dec. 31, Indian Sugar Mills Association said in a statement.
The country produced 8.09 million tonnes of the sweetener between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 0.4 percent higher than a year earlier, as crushing began few weeks earlier, it said.
The world's biggest consumer is likely to produce 23.4 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17, down about 7 percent from a year ago as back-to-back droughts ravaged the cane crop.
(Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Vyas Mohan)