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Private millers yet to begin cane crushing

A week after Chief Minister Mayawati issued a warning against delay in crushing cane,private sugar mills are reluctant to commence the crushing activity early due to low sugar recovery.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
November 21, 2010 9:16:35 am

A week after Chief Minister Mayawati issued a warning against delay in crushing cane,private sugar mills are reluctant to commence the crushing activity early due to low sugar recovery.

Mayawati on November 12,had asked the private sugar mils to commence crushing of the cane at the earliest. CM had said the sugar mills defying the government order will face legal action.

Normally,the sugar recovery in UP ranges between 9 and 10 percent. This year,the recovery has plummeted to 6-7 percent due to moisture in sugarcane fields,thus affecting the maturity of the sugarcane crop.

The sugarcane fields were ravaged by the floods this year. As many as 45 districts in west,central and east UP were hit by the floods where large tracts of standing cane and paddy crop were submerged. The problem of moisture persists littler longer in east UP and terai areas of the state. All the sugar mills which have so far commenced cane crushing are located in west UP districts.

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According to Cane department,of the total 128 sugar mills in UP,only 17 mills have started crushing by Saturday. This includes 11 of the private sector and six in cooperative sector. UP has 92 sugar mills in private sector and 25 in cooperative sector. Eleven mills in public sector owned by UP State Sugar Corporation which were in operation during the last season have been privatised. All the 11 private mills are yet to commence the cane crushing.

“Gradually,the sugar mills are starting the cane crushing and so far 11 mills have started crushing. Low sugar recovery is a major cause of concern. This season,the the sugar recovery is only 7 percent,” said Shyam Lal Gupta,secretary of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).

“Low sugar recovery,which is about eight percent,is a matter of concern. The sugar recovery in east UP will improve only after mid-December with the maturity of the sugarcane crop,” said Kamran Rizvi,Cane Commissioner. He further said most of the sugar mills in west and central UP will start cane crushing by the end of November and all mills in east UP will commence operations by the second week of December.

Earlier this month,the ISMA had challenged the hike in State Advisory price (SAP) by the state government in Allahabad high court. The court had,however,declined to give interim relief to the private sugar mills.

On November 2,UP had announced a record hike of Rs 40 per quintal tonne in SAP. The ISMA had expressed its inability to pay at this level due to lower realisation of sugar. The ISMA maintained that with the present ruling price of sugar in open market,it could only pay at last year’s SAP level of around Rs 165/qt. The ISMA had,however,said it was ready to pay more if the price of sugar appreciated. Against the SAP of Rs 205-210/qt,the Center has fixed the FRP (fair and remunerative price) at Rs139/qt.

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