Cotton output to drop this season, supporting factor of monsoon missing: CAI

By: | Published: March 8, 2019 2:30 AM

Around 65% of the Indian crop has arrived so far with 213.42 lakh bales hitting the market by February 28 and another 114.58 lakh bales yet to arrive in markets.

As per CAI crop committee’s last meeting held on March 1 this year, the Indian crop size is estimated at 328 lakh bales of 170 kg against earlier the estimation of 330 lakh bales.

The Cotton Association of India (CAI) is expecting a big drop in the Indian cotton crop figures this season as there would be no third, fourth or fifth pickings, which are usual practice every year. “Due to shortage of rain this year, there will be no third and fourth pickings in most of the cotton-growing states. In regular course in India, farmers take 4 to 5 pickings. The governments of Maharashtra and Telangana have given instructions to farmers to remove cotton plants by December 31 to avoid pink bollworm disease,” CAI president Atul Ganatra said while giving details on the crop for the season of 2018-19.

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As per CAI crop committee’s last meeting held on March 1 this year, the Indian crop size is estimated at 328 lakh bales of 170 kg against earlier the estimation of 330 lakh bales. Last year, the crop size was 365 lakh bales, Ganatra said. “This year India has its lowest crop compared with last 10 years. Our last lowest crop was in 2009 at 305 lakh bales,” he said.

Moreover, this year cotton sowing has taken place in around 123 lakh hectares in India. “However, the supporting factor of monsoon has been missing this season,” he said, adding that while the rain was very scanty in September, in October the entire month was dry. Particularly, states such as Gujarat have reported a rain deficit of 28% and rain deficit was also witnessed in Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra as well,” Ganatra said.

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Around 65% of the Indian crop has arrived so far with 213.42 lakh bales hitting the market by February 28 and another 114.58 lakh bales yet to arrive in markets. The current opening stock is 28.00 lakh bales and arrivals are 213.42 lakh bales up to February 28. The import has been around 5.50 lakh bales up to February 28, which means the available crop is 246.92 lakh bales. The consumption has been around 131.66 lakh bales from January 10 to February 28 this year. The shipment of exports for the same period has been around 30 lakh bales.

The closing stock as on September 30, 2019, is expected to be around 17 lakh bales. While the physical stock inside the spinning mill is 43.28 lakh bales, that is, for almost 50 days, and the overall stock with mills and physical stock is 85.26 lakh bales.

Ganatra pointed out that the current rate of 29 mm good quality cotton is Rs 42,000 per candy compared with Rs 41,000 per candy last season. If this ratecontinues for another 45 days, the country could achieve its export target of 50 lakh bales.

“Due to forecast of El Nino, if there is any delay in monsoon, we may see a new price for cotton this year by the end of the season,” he said. Last year, the government increased the MSP for 29 mm cotton by around 25% to Rs 5,450 per 100 kg.

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