Nageswara Rao of NCS Sugars shares his views on impact of Coronavirus outbreak on the Sugar Industry

It is irrefutable about the all-round and major contribution of Sri Nageswara Rao to the success of NCS Sugars Ltd.  The visionary that he is, Sri Narayanam Nageswara Rao had always dreamt of taking the sugar plant to heights that would be the envy of others.

NCS Sugars Ltd. was established in the year 2002. The management took over a 2500 tcd old and dilapidated sugar mill of the erstwhile nizam sugars ltd ( a co-operative sugar mill being operated by the then govt. of Andhra Pradesh) in an open auction conducted by the state government and rechristened it as NCS sugars ltd.

Since then, NCS had taken immense pains in converting this old/dilapidated/ramshackle sugar mill into a modern one besides increasing its crushing capacities from 2500 tcd to 5,000 tcd. Most of the plant & machinery which was in shambles was replaced with the state of the art p & m procured from worldwide nations at a hefty capital expenditure of more than 100 crores.

Views about impact of Covid – 19 on the sugar industry

Needless to say, there would sure be huge impact (negative) on the sugar industry too due to Covid 19 which has ravaged the economies of the entire world including china, USA, Germany, Japan, Korea which were commanding hitherto. This negative impact would have its toll in the season 2020-21.  If the monsoon rains are timely, the toll would be limited and if there is a drought-like situation as faced in 2019, the hit would be massive.  However, it is too early to go in for any predictions at this stage as the exact picture can only be visualized post august 2020  when the world might start to settle down after the Covid 19 impact.

How NCS Sugars Ltd. is helping its staff during the lockdown

Provided provisions to most of the deserving workers.  In spite of the fact that there is no / nil activity, and negative revenues,  the management had magnanimously come up with providing the salaries.

Practical difficulties for returning to work after the pandemic

This is one key issue to be addressed.  Since Hyderabad office is located in the cluster of ” hot zone/containment zone”  the management had approved the request of the staff members to work from home.  It is now working out modalities as to how quickly work can resume from office after full and proper sanitization of the entire premises.

Impact of Covid – 19 pandemic on prices of sugar

Not much of an impact is seen/observed on the prices of white sugar during this Covid pandemic as there is sufficient carry forward stocks of white sugar from the earlier year ( almost 12 million metric tons which is equivalent to more than 6 months domestic consumption).

Impact of dry weather on sugarcane and sugar

Sugarcane crop is a water guzzler and requires copious quantities of water for its sustained growth.  Otherwise, it would perish. Hence,  irrigated lands possessing a continual supply of water are ideal along with rain-fed lands.  During times of drought, the sugarcane crop is the first to face the backlash. (50 million farmers across the country grow sugarcane). Drip irrigation is the answer to minimize/optimize water to the sugarcane crop.

2. The average consumption of sugar in the country is about 24 million metric tons. During good rainfall season, the production reached as high as 36 million metric tons and during the drought years, the production fell to 18 million mt.  Hence, the prices of white sugar are always market-driven.  During glut periods, the prices of white sugar dip to as low as rs.19 per kilo, and during drought periods,  the prices can go well over rs.40 per kilo. But the central government always plays the spoilsport by pegging the prices down since sugar is an essential commodity and not allowing it to settle at levels of demand and supply.

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