The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has retained its December estimate of the cotton crop for 2017-18 crop year at 375 lakh bales which is the same level as previous forecast. The projected balance sheet drawn by the CAI estimated total cotton supply for the season at 425 lakh bales of 170 kgs each, including the opening stock of 30 lakh bales at the beginning of the season and the imports which the CAI estimates at 20 lakh bales for 2017-18 crop year. The domestic consumption is estimated to be 320 lakh bales while CAI estimates exports for the season to be 55 lakh bales. As per the data received from various sources, the CAI estimates cotton arrivals up to end of December 2017 at 147.75 lakh bales as compared to 108 lakh bales up to December 31, 2016. About 39% of the total crop estimated for the year has already arrived in the market, Atul Ganatra, president, CAI said. Looking at the pace of arrivals this year, CAI is of the view that the projected crop of 375 lakh bales for 2017-18 crop years is achievable, he said. According to CAI, cotton arrivals in India up to December 31 have crossed 147.75 lakh bales this season. By the same time last year arrivals were about 108 lakh bales. These arrival figures were collected from each state to arrive at the correct figures.
Since cotton rates have gone up in the country by 10% in the last one month, the earlier set target of cotton export of 63 lakh bales looks difficult now. Hence, cotton export figures have been reduced and revised from the earlier 63 lakh bales to 55 lakh bales, Ganatra said. Since cotton price has increased in India, parity to import of cotton has increased so CAI has revised import figures from 17 lakh bales to 20 lakh bales this season. CAI has estimated the total consumption of cotton during October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018 of around 320 lakh bales. Due to reduction in export and increase in import, CAI’s carry forward has increased from 39 lakh bales to 50 lakh bales on September 30, 2018, which is a very comfortable position for Indian spinning mills, he said. Ganatra said he and his team of directors met Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to seek removal of market cess ranging from 0.5 to 1.1%, charged by various market committees. In that meeting, the CM assured to remove this Mandi tax on kapas. Also, the Maharashtra government will shortly come out with a favourable Textile Policy, which will attract the investors of cotton trade to set up cotton spinning mills in Maharashtra. All India ginners are facing problems in the new GST regime under RCM, he said, adding that CAI has taken up this issue with the GST Council and the finance minister. There was a protest held on December 15 by ginners across the country in cotton growing states. CAI has 70 ginners as members in the Association and this is the first time CAI has taken up the matter of solving problems of the ginners seriously. The president and CAI’s 10 directors met the CMD and other directors of Cotton Corporation of India and requested to utilise CAI’s 13 cotton testing laboratories which are in almost all cotton growing states and also to use the CAI arbitration facilities.