March 2, 2016 / 9:29 AM / 4 years ago

Indian sugar mills close operations early - trade body

Labourers load sugarcane into a load carrier at a wholesale sugarcane market in Kolkata, India, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Cane scarcity has forced Indian sugar mills to close operations ahead of normal schedule and more than 100 factories have stopped crushing, a trade body said on Wednesday.

In the 2015/16 marketing year, 513 sugar mills had started operations, but 107 mills stopped crushing by February end.

Only 13 mills had stopped crushing by February end last year, the Indian Sugar Mills Association said in a statement.

Indian sugar mills produced 19.95 million tonnes between Oct. 1 and Feb. 29, slightly higher than last year’s 19.56 million tonnes in the same period as crushing started a few weeks in advance this year.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi

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