Thursday, July 9, 2009

>Poor rains may hurt 09-10 sugar output in key India state

Mumbai - Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh, India's second-largest sugar producing state, in the crop year that starts on Oct. 1 may fall 18%-20% from a previous estimate of 5 million metric tons due to delayed monsoon rains, a senior industry official said Wednesday.

"If we don't receive rainfall in next two to three days, we may revise the output estimate to 4 million-4.1 million tons," said the official, who did not want to be named.

India's monsoon rains are likely to remain active over many parts of the country between July 11 and July 13, except in northwestern regions such as Uttar Pradesh, the India Meteorological Department said.

However, the recovery of sugar from cane is likely to be higher than last year, when output suffered due to bad weather in June and July, the official said.

In 2009-10, recovery is expected to rise to 10% of the sugar cane crop from 9% in the current crop year, he said.

The country's sugar output may not improve significantly in the coming crop year, when it is expected to be about 17 million-18 million tons, according to industry officials.

India's sugar output in the current year ending Sept. 30 is expected to be 15 million-15.5 million tons, down from 26.3 million tons the previous year.