USDA pegs India's sugar output at 23.6 mn tonnes for 2010-11

New Delhi: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has pegged India's sugar production at 23.6 million tonnes in the ensuing 2010-11 sugar year, marking an increase of over 26% from last year, reports PTI.


India, the world's second biggest producer but largest consumer of sugar, had produced 19 million tonnes of sweetener in 2009-10, it said in its latest report.

Interestingly, the USDA's projection is close to the government's estimate of 24 million tonnes. But the food and agriculture minister had said recently that he would not be surprised if the production goes up to 25 million tonnes this year. Even the sugar industry is estimating total output of sweetener at 25-25.5 million tonnes in the 2010-11 sugar year.

The sugar year runs from October to September.

The USDA and the government's estimate of sugar output in 2010-11 crop year is, however, higher than the domestic demand of 23 million tonnes.

According to USDA projection, India's leading sugar producing state Maharashtra is expected to produce a record 9.5 million tonnes of sugar this year, against 7 million tonnes last year.

Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh, the country's second biggest sugar producing state, may rise to 6.2 million tonnes from 5.18 million tonnes in the review period.

Barring Karnataka, sugar output is seen to rise in almost all sugar producing states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and others.

The sugar output in Karnataka is likely to decline marginally to 2.3 million tonnes this year from 2.53 million tonnes last year.

The US body said that sugar output in Tamil Nadu may jump sharply to 2.1 million tonnes in the 2010-11 crop year from 1.25 million tonnes last year. The output in Gujarat is pegged at 1.3 million tonnes against 1.19 million tonnes last year.

It further said that India's sugar import may lower at one million tonnes on expected improved domestic supplies and lower domestic prices.



J Kumar Infra wins order worth Rs136 crore

J Kumar Infraprojects Ltd said the company in joint venture with PBA Infrastructure Ltd won few work orders worth Rs136 crore.

The company has won an order for the construction of bus rapid transit system (BRTS) corridors Phase-II (Package-I) in Ahmedabad worth Rs116 crore. It has also won pilling works orders worth of Rs20 crore from various companies, said the company in a statement.

On Wednesday, J Kumar Infra shares declined 1.43% to Rs258 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.7% to 20,543 points.


Cap on cotton exports to hinge on excess production: Textiles minister

New Delhi: The textiles ministry today said it would be in favour of cotton exports beyond the present cap of 55 lakh bales this year if production exceeds the estimate of 325 lakh bales, reports PTI.

"The textiles ministry would be the first to support the movement (of cotton) out of the country in the form of exports (if production exceeds 325 lakh bales)...," secretary in the textiles ministry Rita Menon said when asked if the government would allow cotton exports beyond the current ceiling of 55 lakh bales in the cotton season.

The cotton season starts in October.

She was talking to reporters after the inauguration of a handloom and handicrafts fair at Dilli Haat.

Ms Menon, however said, requirement of the domestic textiles industry should be kept in mind before permitting exports beyond 55 lakh bales.

The domestic textiles industry is likely to consume 220 lakh bales this year.

Earlier, the government had announced that duty free exports of 55 lakh bales (of 170 kg) would be allowed in the current cotton marketing season.

The commerce ministry had said that exports beyond 55 lakh bales would attract duty. To curb exports in wake of rising domestic prices of cotton, a duty of Rs 2,500 per tonne was imposed.

When asked if the government would impose any curbs on exports beyond 55 lakh bales, Ms Menon said "the instruments that we will use after 55 lakh bales (of exports) will be considered by the government after a review meeting later this month."

The textiles commissioner has started registration of cotton export contracts from 1st October and the actual shipments would start from 1st November.

The registration of contracts would stop automatically the moment the ceiling of 55 lakh bales is reached.

Currently, the cotton prices in the domestic market are ruling over 65% higher than Rs22,400 (per candy) in the same period last year.


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