Indian sugar trade body lowers 2022/23 output forecast by 2.9%

A man packs sugar for sale inside a shop at a marketplace in Ahmedabad

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is likely to produce 33.5 million tonnes of sugar in the season to Sept. 30 this year, down 2.9% from the previous forecast of 34.5 million tonnes, a leading trade body said on Monday, after unfavourable weather hit cane yields.

"The decline in production in Maharashtra and Karnataka is mainly due to lower sugar cane yield," said Rahil Shaikh, vice-chairman of the All India Sugar Trade Association, referring to India's leading sugar-producing states.

After selling 6.1 million tonnes of sugar on the world market, India is unlikely to allow more sugar exports this year.

India's absence from the world market could lift global prices and allow rivals Brazil and Thailand to increase their shipments.

Reuters reported in December on the likely drop in production.

(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by David Goodman)