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India to produce surplus sugar in 2017/18 - industry body

A worker carries a bundle of sugarcane on his head at a farmland near Modinagar in Uttar Pradesh, March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is likely to produce surplus sugar in 2017/18 as farmers have increased cane-growing area, a leading industry body said on Monday.

The world’s biggest consumer of sugar is unlikely to import the sweetener in the 2016/17 marketing year that started on Oct. 1, as the country have ample carry forward stocks from the last year, Abinash Verma, director general of the Indian Sugar Mills Association told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

The country is likely to produce 23.4 million tonnes of sugar in 2016/17, down around 7 percent from a year ago as back-to-back droughts ravaged the crop in top-producing western state of Maharashtra.

Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Malini Menon