In its latest assessment this month, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) reduced its production estimate for the 2021-22 season to 323.63 lakh bales of 170 kg each from its previous estimate of 335.13 lakh bales. Production last year was over 352 lakh bales.

Cotton planting in India, the world’s biggest producer of the fibre, could jump as much as 15% in 2022 to an all-time high, as strong prices prompt farmers to switch away from other crops, an industry association said. Higher output could help cool the rally in global and local cotton prices, which is hurting Asian apparel makers.

Area planted to cotton in India could rise as much as 15% from last year because the crop is providing far better returns than alternatives, said AtulGanatra, president of the Cotton Association of India. Local prices have more than doubled over the past year, because heavy rainfall during harvesting slashed 2021’s crop to the lowest level in a decade.