• The monsoon this year is going to be above-average, the first since 2013.
  • This is remarkable given the monsoon started more than 2 weeks late.
  • Don’t forget that cane in the west of India suffered from low water availability for 3 months before the monsoon arrived.

Rainfall Performance in Key Districts  

Monsoon Rainfall in Key Sugarcane States

  • Rainfall in all key cane sugar areas are within normal range with the exception of Maharashtra.
  • The rains have now slowed: In Maharashtra rainfall is 22% above normal, having peaked at 32% above average.
  • This heavy rainfall has led to flooding in Maharashtra, with possible implications for sugar cane development.
  • Premium subscribers can read more about the flooding here.
  • Below average rain in Uttar Pradesh is not a problem as there is sufficient water availability from the River Ganges basin.

Maharashtra (Key Sugarcane Regions) – Monsoon Rainfall

  • In Maharashtra, rainfall has been heavy, but unevenly distributed.
  • The heaviest rainfall has been in the west and south of the state.
  • Regions further east and north have received less rain; the region around Solapur is still in water deficit.
  • This deficit is not now of concern because heavy rainfall has replenished reservoirs used for irrigation.

Key Cane Locations in Maharashtra  

MH & KN Reservoir Levels  

  • We have marked 40% decline in Maharashtra’s production due to the key reservoirs which have dried since March.
  • The last time this happened was in 2016; which was followed by sugar production of just 4.2m tonnes in Maharashtra (compare to the subsequent years’ 10.7m tonnes!).

  • As a result of the dry spell, some sugarcane has been harvested early as cattle fodder.
  • Maharashtra cane acreage has reduced by 24% compared to last season: 840k hectares down from 1,100k hectares.
  • We forecast that Indian sugar production will fall from 33m tonnes last year to 29m tonnes in the season about to begin.

Czarnikow 2019/20 India Estimates