When Maharashtra announced its official sugar cane crushing date on October 15, there was a certain amount of tension in the industry.It had been a year of gains and losses for sugar cane. The floods in southern Maharashtra had necessitated an urgent harvest of the crop. Yet there was high optimism in the sugar industry riding on soaring prices for raw and white sugar in domestic and international markets. The optimism also fed on the promising market for ethanol, a profitable by-product of the cane-crushing industry.In October, just before the official cane-crushing season was declared, the price of raw brown sugar (the preferred form for export) was around Rs.3,200 a quintal. Many mills had decided to focus on producing
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