Jaggery producers to compete with India sugar mills to buy early cane.

Encouraged by a sharp increase in realisation through last year, jaggery manufacturing units (termed kolhus) say they’re equipped for a price battle with sugar mills on sugarcane purchase. Sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the top two producing states, have announced an early start to crushing this year (the sugar season begins October 1). This was reportedly to get the early variety of cane, normally supplied to kolhus. Jaggery makers traditionally start their operations in September with this early variety, which offers lower yield than the matured type. Crushing of this type of cane, therefore, becomes uneconomical for sugar mills.