April 3, 2018 / 1:39 PM / 17 days ago

Sugarcane arrears in India jump to $2.62 billion - trade body

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Sugarcane arrears in India stood at 170 billion rupees ($2.62 billion) at the end of March, a more than 21 percent jump from January-end, as a drop in sugar prices made it difficult for mills to pay farmers stipulated prices, a trade body said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Labourers load sugarcane into a load carrier at a wholesale sugarcane market in Kolkata, India, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

Mills in Uttar Pradesh owe farmers 72 billion rupees, while mills in Maharashtra have delayed payments of 25 billion rupees, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.

Indian sugar mills produced 28.18 million tonnes sugar in the first six months of 2017/18 marketing year started on Oct. 1, up 49 percent from a year ago, the trade body said.

India’s sugar surplus could swell to 5.3 million tonnes as production for the 2017/18 crop year is set to surge to a record 30.3 million tonnes, with output rising from the top two producing states, the Western India Sugar Mills Association (WISMA) said on Monday.

($1 = 65.0050 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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