New Delhi, Nov 20 Indian sugar production touched 13.73 lakh tonnes (LT) till November 15 of the ongoing 2017-18 season beginning October, which was 79 per cent higher than the 7.67 LT produced in the same from the same period a year ago, Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said.
The millers' body said the higher output this season was on account of early start to crushing operations.
"As on 15th November 2017, 313 sugar mills were already crushing as compared to 222 sugar mills which were crushing sugarcane last year on November 15. Early start of crushing has resulted in higher sugar production upto 15th November 2017, as compared to same time last year, " an ISMA release said here.
"The main contributors to the higher production of sugar are the sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra," it said.
The association has demanded that the government withdraw the stock holding limits on sugar traders with immediate effect.
"With surplus sugar availability and lower sugar offtake than expected, continuance of stock holding limit on traders at this stage is affecting buying interests. This will affect cash flows, which may very soon may impact the sugar producers' paying capacity to the sugarcane farmers," ISMA said.
"The ex-mill sugar prices have seen a fall of Rs 100-200 per quintal in various parts of the country," it added.
The government has extended the stock holding limit on traders by two months till December 31.
Sugar offtake from mills during last two months was lower, the association said.
"With higher production in 2017-18 season, the sugar sales need to improve to ensure better cash flows and a stable sugar prices," it added.