MUMBAI: India, the world's biggest sugar consumer, is likely to produce 23 million tonnes to 24 million tonnes of the sweetener in the 2016/17 year starting Oct. 1, down from the current year's output of 25.3 million tonnes, the government said on Thursday.
The country will start the new crushing season with carry forward stock of 7.3 million tonnes, it said in a statement.
Total supplies in 2016/17 are pegged at 30 million tonnes to 31 million tonnes, against local demand of about 25.5 million tonnes, it said.
The federal government has asked state governments to impose stock limits on sugar to avoid hoarding by traders, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday.
India is likely to become a net importer of sugar in 2016/17 as back-to-back drought years and dry irrigation channels ravage cane fields, with output in the country's biggest producing state seen dropping by more than 40 percent.