The country's sugar output has increased by 22% to 5.6 lakh tonnes so far in the 2014-15 season, industry body ISMA said today.
The total sugar production stood at 4.62 lakh tonnes in the same period of the 2013-14 season (October-September).
The government has pegged overall sugar output at 250.5 lakh tonnes for this season, while the ISMA has estimated the production at 250-255 lakh tonnes. The estimates are higher than 244 lakh tonnes of sugar produced in the 2013-14 season.
The domestic requirement is around 247 lakh tonnes.
"Crushing in the new sugar season 2014-15 has just started... Most of the sugar mills which have started crushing are in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat," the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a release.
Mills in Uttar Pradesh, the country's second biggest sugar producing state, are expected to begin the crushing operation by this month-end, it said.
UP mills, which had threatened not to start operations this season, are expected to begin their factories as the state government has kept the cane price unchanged at the last year's level and has also announced some tax concessions and financial assistance to sugar mills, it added.
The ISMA said that around 141 sugar mills out of the total 509 were operating till November 15 of this season, as against 108 mills in the same period last season.
Since there would be an estimated surplus sugar of 20 lakh tonnes in the ongoing 2014-15 season, the industry body said that it is awaiting government's nod on continuing export subsidy for raw sugar and also help mills to convert surplus sugar into ethanol with incentive.
The opening stock of sugar was around 75 lakh tonnes as on October 1 of this season. There will be small surplus sugar for next season, which will, however, be within control.
India has exported 21.17 lakh tonnes in the 2013-14 season. Out of this, 12.12 lakh tonnes was raw sugar and 9 lakh tonnes white sugar.