New Delhi, Sep 1: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday, Sep 1, said that the new sugar season will begin with much lower stocks, as the production will be hit by lower sugar recovery from cane after the failure of monsoon rains.
"The production of sugar in India during year 2008 and 2009 sugar season has not been adequate to meet the domestic demand of the country, " Pawar told reporters.
"We started with very comfortable opening balance that was around 10 million tonnes of sugar on 1st Oct 2008. However we expect sugar production during 2009 and 2010 definitely less...somewhat 8-22 billion tonnes," he said.
Recently, the head of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd, JB Patel had said India's opening stocks would be at 2.7 million tonnes, down three quarters from 10 million tonnes on Oct 1, 2008.
India's dwindling stocks and rising demand have helped raw sugar futures surge to the highest in nearly three decades on prospects of large purchases by the world's top sugar consumer.
Weak monsoon rains have further raised supply concerns in India.
India had exported five million tonnes of sugar in 2008, but it swiftly turned into a large importer to counter low supply and rising prices.