Indian Cotton Production Now Estimated at 36 Million Bales
India’s cotton production for the current season (October 2017-September 2018) is estimated to be 36 million bales (170 Kgs each).
According to the Cotton Association of India (CAI), crop arrival for the current season through the end of April was about 31.1 million bales. Total consumption during the same 7-month time period has been 18.9 million bales, averaging 2.7 million bales per month. By the end of April, about 86% of the season’s crop had arrived in the market.
Total supply for the full season ending in September is estimated to be 41 million bales. Total domestic consumption during the season will be 32.4 million bales. Exports, according to CAI, will be 6.5 million bales.
A Mumbai-based expert on the Indian cotton market stated that some traders are hoping the export number will be closer to 7 million bales. Uncertainty regarding possible Chinese tariffs on imports from the United States, plus the weakening of the Indian rupee against the dollar, may help boost Indian exports.
In November of 2017, Indian production was expected to be about 37 million bales, but a pink bollworm infestation in Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has reduced the output. However, stakeholders are paying close attention to this issue during the forthcoming planting season so that Gujarat – India’s leading cotton producing state – does not face this insect situation.
The next 2-3 months look bullish for the cotton sector, reported the expert. There is a need for quality cotton, and the price difference between quality and average cotton is widening.
Indian meteorologists are also predicting timely rainfall during the June-September timeframe, which will determine planting intentions. However, chances for diversification are also possible, as the edible oil sector performed well in 2017-18.