Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sugar prices up 19% since October on delay in cane crushing



Retail prices of sugar have risen by up to 19% in the four metros since the start of the new season in October, as delay in cane crushing in top two producing states have affected fresh supply of the commodity.

In the national capital, sugar prices have risen to Rs 38 a kg as on November 12 from Rs 32 per kg on October 1, according to the data complied by the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

During the period under review, sweetener prices have advanced by Rs five to Rs 35 a kg in Kolkata. Sugar is selling at Rs 37 a kg in Mumbai and Rs 33 in Chennai, an increase of Rs 4 and Rs 3 a kg, respectively since October 1.

The prices are rising because of delay in the crushing process in the top two sugar producing states -- Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

While in Maharashtra the crushing has been delayed by 15 days, the sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh have yet not been able to start crushing due to farmers' protest who are demanding Rs 280 a quintal for their produce.

Processing of imported raw sugar has also not started in UP as mills have not started their operations so far.

Sugar prices have been rising and have almost doubled since October last year due to sharp fall in production.

In the 2008-09 season, sugar production of India, the world's biggest consumer, fell to 15 million tonnes from 26.4 million tonnes in the previous year.

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