Cotton body cuts crop estimate on lower yields



Cotton output estimate for the October-September 2011-2012 season has been revised down to 345 lakh bales of 170 kg each because of falling per-hectare yields, a senior Government official said on Tuesday after a Cotton Advisory Board meeting. It was estimated at 356 lakh bales in November last year.

“There may have been some incidence of pest attacks on crop. Also, there is yield loss in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh,” Mr A.B. Joshi, Textile Commissioner, said after the meeting that had representatives from the industry, traders, growers and exporters. In the previous year, output was 325 lakh bales. But the board maintains its estimate on acreage at 121.91 lakh hectares.

The estimate for Maharashtra’s crop has been lowered to 69 lakh bales from the previous estimate of 85 lakh bales.

According to Mr Joshi, the State Government’s estimate of the crop is much lower at 64 lakh bales. But the State has not given the reasons for the likely decline in crop. Maharashtra is the second-largest producer after Gujarat producing 82 lakh bales last year. Andhra Pradesh, the third-largest, is likely to harvest a crop of 48 lakh bales, down from the previous estimate of 55 lakh bales. Cotton-growing areas in the State experienced a dry spell during the monsoon, Mr Joshi said.

Estimated yields a hectare for Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have been lowered sharply. In Maharashtra, yield is likely to be 286.45 kg a hectare, down from the previous estimate of 352.87 kg and lower from previous year’s 354.53 kg a hectare. In Andhra Pradesh, estimated yield has been revised down to 440.13 kg from 504.31 kg. Last year, it was 505.04 kg. Gujarat is likely to harvest 114 lakh bales of cotton compared with 103 lakh bales in the previous season.

Strong demand from China is expected to augur well for the country’s exporters in the current cotton year ending September 30, 2012.

The board has revised up exports estimate for the current year to 84 lakh bales from 80 lakh bales. Last year, the country exported 68 lakh bales.

“Demand from China is looking good. Already 44 lakh bales have been shipped, and of these 39 lakh bales were exported to China,” Mr Joshi said.

Domestic mill consumption has also picked up mainly because cotton prices remain buoyant and yarn prices have been gaining, he said.

Mill consumption estimate has been revised up a tad to 216 lakh bales from 210 lakh bales.