MUMBAI, FEB 26:
The Cotton Advisory Board meeting held on Saturday lowered production estimate by five per cent to 312 lakh bales (lb) in the cotton year 2010-11 (October-September) against 329 lb estimated in its first meeting held on January 6 this year. Of the 312-lb output estimate, arrivals were about 227.4 lb till Friday. Cotton arrivals will end by March in most producing centres.
Area under cotton cultivation was estimated higher at 111.61 lakh hectares against 110.55 lakh hectares earlier estimate.
Mr A.B. Joshi, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, said, “we had decided to be cautious on our estimate after taking into account the poor arrivals particularly during the peak season between December and January at major cotton production centres.”
Production estimate in Maharashtra was lowered to 82 lb against the earlier estimate of 92 lb, Gujarat it was 102 lb against 103 lb, while in Madhya Pradesh it was 17 lb against 18 lb. The central region output was lowered to 201 lb against 213 lb.
In the North, total output was down to 39 lb against 41 lb due to lower estimate in Haryana at 14 lb against 15 lb, and Rajasthan 9 lb against 10 lb, while in Punjab it was retained at 16 lb.
Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh outlook was lowered to 53 lb against 55 lb, Karnataka 10 lb against 13 lb, and Tamil Nadu, which have a crop cycle, it was increased to 5 lb against 4 lb. Output in the South was lowered to 68 lb against 72 lb. Orissa will produce 2 lb and other smaller States will contribute 2 lb against 1 lb.
Ruling out the possibility of hoarding by rich farmers, Mr Joshi said, “as far as we know, farmers are very price sensitive and always want to cash in on their produce when the prices are high.”
Cotton prices have shown signs of softening in the last few days. In the last eight days, prices have fallen from Rs 62,000 a candy to Rs 55,000 a candy, he said.
Mr Joshi assured that the Group of Minister will soon take a call on the export.