The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) has estimated the fibre’s output to increase by 9 per cent to 377 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) despite lower production in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The output in the northern region is expected to increase 28 per cent to 59 lakh bales (46 lb) on the back of a bumper crop in Rajasthan and Punjab, which is pegged at 22 lb (16 lb) and 12 lb (9 lb).
Though the output in the southern region is slated to go up to 104 lb from 90 lb, it may come under revision due to the pest attack in Telangana and Tamil Nadu, said Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner, who headed the first CAB meeting for the current season on Tuesday.
The area under cotton cultivation has gone up 19 per cent to 122 lakh hectares (108 lakh hectares). With a lower import estimate of 17 lb (31 lb) and opening stock of 48 lb (36 lb), the overall supply is put at 442 lb (412 lb).
On the demand side, mill consumption is estimated to be higher at 288 lb (263 lb) – consumption by the small-scale and non-textile industry may increase to 27 lb (26 lb) and 19 lb (17 lb). Exports are slated to increase to 67 lb (58 lb) as Pakistan is expected to import from India, said Gupta. Though there were pest attacks in Gujarat, the impact was contained as the farmers adopted the best practices suggested by the Central Institute of Cotton Research. However, Maharashtra suffered the worst pest attack, especially in Yavatmal and Jalgaon. Other States that were hit are Karnataka, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. On the sharp fall in cotton prices, Gupta said the Cotton Corporation of India has procured 3.5 lb of cotton worth Rs. 688 crore at a minimum support price of Rs. 4,320 a quintal. However, CCI’s intervention from now on will be limited as prices are expected to stabilise above the MSP, she said.