MUMBAI, APRIL 17:
The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) meeting held on Wednesday increased the cotton production outlook to 340 lakh bales (lb) for this cotton year (October to September) against 330 lb estimated at its meeting in January. The rise in production outlook was largely due to better crop prospects in the southern States including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
IMPORTS MAY RISE
However, the Board’s production estimate for this year is lower than 355 lb achieved last year due to farmers’ preference to other crops in major cotton growing States.
A.B. Joshi, Textile Commissioner, said that cotton imports may increase to 25 lb against 20 lb estimated in January as a few mills in the South find it cheaper to bring in consignments from Africa and Australia.
“Besides freight advantage, they also find quality of imported cotton better and there is also certain financing advantage for imports,” he said. Imports were at 12 lb last year.
Production in the northern zone (Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan) is estimated at 60 lb (62 lb) while in Central zone (Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh) it will be lower at 179 lb (212 lb). However, in the southern region the output will be higher at 95 lb (76 lb).
Total supply this year is estimated at 405 lb (413 lb). Mill consumption is pegged at 245 lb (223 lb), small scale units and non-mill demand at 22 lb (21 lb) and 20 lb (10 lb) respectively.
Exports will be lower at 81 lb (130 lb). The demand is estimated at 368 lb against 384 lb logged in last year. Exporters have registered to ship 89 lb, but have shipped only 81 lb so far, he said.
“The mill consumption has gone up substantially as China, one of the largest importers of cotton from India, is now importing more of yarn. This may be due to increase in cotton price and labour cost in China,” said Joshi.
Source: Business Line