Sugar production in Maharashtra for the year starting Oct 1 may be eight million tonnes, down at least 25% from this year's output, said a top official of Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation Ltd.
That would be the least since 2016-17, when production almost halved. Production this year is likely to exceed 10.7 million tons, the official told Bloomberg.
The forecast comes as private Indian forecaster Skymet Weather Services Pvt. predicts a drier-than-normal monsoon this year.
India's total sugar production, which reached a record 32.5 million tons in 2017-18, may drop to 31.5 million tonnes in the current year, and to 30 million tons in the year starting Oct 1 on dry weather and as more cane may be diverted to boost ethanol output, according to the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd.
Output could fall to 27-28 million tons in 2020-21, according to the federation.
The decline in production may offer relief for other producers such as Australia and Brazil, which have complained to the World Trade Organization that India's gushing exports and subsidies are suppressing global prices.
India's June-September monsoon, which delivers more than 70 per cent of the country's annual rainfall, is likely to be below normal this year as the El Nino weather pattern may impact rain, according to Skymet.