India's sugar production could fall nearly 18% in 2019/20 - trade body

A labourer carries a sack of sugar to load it onto a supply truck at a market area in Kolkata, January 25, 2019. REUTRS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

Pune, India (Reuters) - India’s sugar production could fall nearly 18% in 2019/20 as a drought followed by floods is expected to curtail output in the country’s second-biggest producing state, a trade body said on Friday.

The lower output could help India reduce stockpiles swelled by two years of record production and lower-than-expected exports. India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar.

India’s sugar production during the 2019/20 marketing year that began on Oct. 1 could fall to 27.4 million tonnes from 33.2 million tonnes in 2018/19, according to the All India Sugar Trade Association.

Output in the western state of Maharashtra could fall 39% to 6.5 million tonnes in the year, the trade body said.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Aditya Soni