The first back-to-back drought in nearly three decades hit cane plantation in Maharashtra, the biggest producing state, pulling down the country's total output, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said in a statement.
Mills have so far produced 24.6 million tonnes of sugar, compared with 27.6 million tonnes during the same period a year ago, the trade body said.
India is likely to become a net importer of sugar in 2016-17 as back-to-back drought years dry irrigation channels and ravage cane fields, with output in the country's biggest producing state seen dropping over 40 per cent.
The country will soon scrap an order that requires sugar mills to export excess supply, two government officials said on Monday, after back-to-back droughts look set to turn the country into a net importer by October.
© Thomson Reuters 2016