Maharashtra sugar body seeks Govt nod to export extra molasses

Mumbai, Feb 13 (PTI) Faced with the problem of excessproduction of molasses in Maharashtra, a top sugar factorybody has sought the Government nod to allow its export.

"The produce has touched a historic high of 17-lakhmetric tonnes (MT) till this month on account of good monsoonlast year. However, due to lack of adequate storagefacilities, we are looking at exporting the surplus stock,"Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factory Federation(MSCSFF) Managing Director Prakash Naiknavare told PTI here.

The Federation has, therefore, requested theGovernment to allow the export, he said, adding the move wouldalso offset the losses suffered due to the decline in prices.

As against a storage capacity of 16-lakh MT, the totaloutput of molasses, a viscous by-product of the processing ofsugarcane or sugar beets into sugar, in the current season isexpected to go up to 33 lakh MT, he said.

Besides, there is another 4-lakh MT of the residualfrom the last crushing season (2009-10), Naiknavare said.

"Since we do not have adequate facility to store, thesurplus produce is stored in pits. As a result, the molassesstarts rotting. If Government allows the exports, it will helpus minimise our losses," Naiknavare said.

"After meeting the local and inter-state demand, whichis around 25-lakh MT, we will still be left with a surplus of9-lakh MT, which can exported."

Due to excess production, domestic prices of sugarand molasses are showing a downward trend, he said.

Currently, the prices of molasses range between Rs2,800 and 3,000 per MT as against the international priceswhich are around USD 110-115 per MT.

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