According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), ex-mill prices of sugar are under pressure in most states and are seeing a decline.
In a press release on Wednesday, ISMA said that market reports indicated that average prices in Tamil Nadu hover between ₹ 3,200 and and 3,225 per quintal, with 60 3,160 to 80 3,180 in northern states and 3,100 in Maharashtra and Karnataka. One quintal at the lowest selling price.
The current prices are current 80 to ₹ 100 quintals which are lower than the prices during the same period of the previous year.
This has adversely affected the liquidity of sugar mills. The association said, “If such a situation persists, the cane price arrears will rise very rapidly.”
It appealed to the government to increase the MSP for sugar to 34.50 kg. “There is a need to make quick decisions about increasing the MSP of sugar to ensure that sugar mills are able to make timely payments to farmers,” he said.
During the 2020–2021 sugar season, which began on 1 October last year, 502 sugar mills commenced operations and by 28 February 2021, 98 mills across the country had ceased operations.