Taking stock: CAI retains cotton crop estimate at 315 L bales

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Pune | Published: June 4, 2019 12:21:14 AM

Cotton crop in south zone, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is also likely to drop from 94.5 lakh bales last year to about 72 lakh bales in 2018-19.

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Cotton Association of India (CAI) on Monday released its latest crop estimate for May, retaining the output at 315 lakh bales (each of 170 kg). This is the lowest in over a decade and significantly down from the previous year’s output estimate of 365 lakh bales.

The total cotton supply estimated by CAI during the period from October 2018 to May 2019 is 325 lakh bales, including the arrival of 288 lakh bales and imports of 9 lakh bales, up to May 31, 2019.

The opening stock at the beginning of the season as on October 1, 2018 was estimated at 28 lakh bales.

The crop size of 315 lakh bales is likely to result in a sharp demand-supply gap for the millers.

As a result, India’s cotton imports are likely to more than double to about 31 lakh bales for the season, up from about 15 lakh bales in the last season. The domestic consumption for the entire crop year up to September 30, 2019 is estimated at 315 lakh bales.

The CAI estimates cotton exports to be around 46 lakh bales, down by about 23 lakh bales as compared to previous year’s estimate of 69 lakh bales.

Total supply, including carryover stock, imports and total crop during the season is estimated at 374 lakh bales, against which total consumption by mills and exporters is estimated at 361 lakh bales, leaving the likely carryover stock for the season at 13 lakh bales.

The reduction in the output is attributed to the extreme water shortage conditions in the growing regions of central and south India. The output in central zone, comprising Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh is estimated to drop from 209.5 lakh bales last year to about 180 lakh bales in 2018-19.

Cotton crop in south zone, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is also likely to drop from 94.5 lakh bales last year to about 72 lakh bales in 2018-19.

However, north zone, which comprises of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, is estimated to have higher crop at 59 lakh bales, up from 56 lakh bales estimated last year.

The CAI’s Crop Committee met on May 30, 2019 to assess the crop size. It noted that the consumption by Indian spinning mills for 8 months starting from October 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 is estimated at 209 lakh bales. Due to small crop size , the closing stock as on September 30, 2019 is estimated by the Committee at 13 lakh bales of 170 kg each.

Cotton stock held by mills in their godowns as on May 31, 2019 is estimated at 32.68 lakh bales.

“This means the mills are having about 38 to 40 days stock inside mill godowns. CCI, MNCs, ginners and MCX are estimated to have stock of 39.32 lakh bales as on May 31, 2019 which is about 42 lakh running bales,” Atul Ganatra, president, CAI said after the Crop Committee meet.

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