The Cotton Association of India has released the first estimate of the country’s cotton crop for the current season (October 2017-September 2018) – 37.5 million (375 lakh) bales of cotton, each weighing 170 Kgs.
Last year’s crop was 33.725 million (337.25 lakh) bales (170 Kgs each). The projected increase this year is due to a 19% growth in acreage compared to last season.
India’s cotton balance sheet for this new season will show a surplus, with a closing stock of 3.9 million bales. Exports this season are expected to be 6.3 million bales of 170 Kgs each – the same level as last year. Total domestic demand will be 32 million bales.
The chance of production exceeding the 37.5 million bale estimate is unlikely. Yields this season will be affected by an infestation of pink bollworm and unseasonal rainfalls in cotton-growing areas during September and October.
Stagnancy in prices for pulses and oil seeds led farmers to diversify to cotton. Many switched to cotton during kharif season (June-July planting season), primarily due to price issues with pulses and oil seeds, stated an agriculture analyst based in Mumbai.
Delivery of cotton has just begun, and the exact picture of quality and production will be known by the end of the month.