February 3, 2020 / 11:18 AM / 14 days ago

India's Oct-Jan sugar output drops 24% - trade body

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

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian mills produced 14.1 million tonnes of sugar between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, down nearly 24% from a year earlier, as some mills were forced to stop cane crushing early due to limited supplies, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said.

The country is the world’s biggest sugar producer and lower output could support global prices,.

By the end of January, 446 sugar mills were crushing sugar cane, down from last year’s 520 mills, the ISMA said on Monday.

Mills in Maharashtra, which was hit by drought and then floods, have produced 3.46 million tonnes of sugar during the four-month period, compared with 7.1 million tonnes a year ago, the ISMA said.

India’s sugar output in 2019/20 could fall 21.6% to 26 million tonnes, the lowest level in three years, the trade body said.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, editing by Louise Heavens

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