Kharif Cotton Sowing Down 15%; Firm Prices Seen Ahead

Mumbai, July 28: | Updated: Jul 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Poor monsoons have prompted farmers to stay away from sowing cotton in some of the important centres. Since the area of cultivation for cotton is around 15 per cent lower, the overall availability of cotton this kharif would also be lower, industry sources said.

According to a top executive of a leading public sector cotton entity, the cotton availability during 2002-03 cotton year would be around 140-150

lakh bales, lower than 158-60 lakh bales during the cotton year ending September 2002. In 2000-01, the cotton crop according to East India Cotton Association (EICA) was placed at 140 lakh bales.

“This season the rains have not been favourable, but if fresh sowers come, it surely would help improve cotton availability,” said a top source.

Thus, the coming month remains the most crucial period for the cotton growing regions, for if the monsoon arrives chances are that the total cotton availability would be slightly more than estimated 140-150 lakh bales.

As regards prices, while the cotton community seems to prefer to keep its fingers crossed till end-September, indications of firm quotes of Cotlook indices on the New York Cotton Exchange (NYCE) point that the prices may remain firm at least till October this year.

According to available cotton’s kharif sowing estimates, even as sowing is under progress in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka each of these states has witnessed lower cropping area by around 10-15 per cent.

In Andhra Pradesh, the sowing is said to be 15 per cent lower, but in both upper and lower Rajasthan, cotton sowing is highest at over 32 per cent in both lower and upper Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh is said to have 10 per cent lower cotton sowing.

Meanwhile, EICA has estimated that the closing stock of cotton during 2001-02 cotton year ending September 2002, would be higher at 35 lakh bales, up from 29 lakh bales last year. The opening stock was placed at 29 lakh bales, lower than 40.50 lakh bales last year.