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Indian Cotton Production Takes a Hit, Expected to Decrease by 6% in Current Year

Published: November 10, 2023

In a recent meeting held on November 6, the Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption forecasted a decrease of 6% in cotton production during the 2023-2024 cotton season compared to the previous year. The estimated cotton production for the current season, spanning from October 2023 to September 2024, is projected to be 316.57 lakh bales (170 kg each), compared to 336.60 lakh bales in 2022-2023.

The committee highlighted that cotton production in the central and southern regions of India, including states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, is anticipated to be lower. Several factors, such as the pink bollworm infestation and inadequate monsoon rainfall in many areas, have impacted cotton production.

According to Atul Ganatra, the president of the Cotton Association of India, the primary concern this year will be demand rather than supply. The total consumption by textile mills is expected to be slightly down, reaching 294 lakh bales, compared to 295 lakh bales in the previous season. Meanwhile, anticipated exports are estimated at 25 lakh bales, with imports reaching 12 lakh bales.

Nishant Asher, the secretary of the Indian Cotton Federation (ICF), highlights that Indian cotton prices are currently aligned with international prices. However, if global prices decline, Indian cotton could become relatively more expensive, impacting the domestic textile industry.

In contrast, the International Cotton Advisory Committee disclosed in a press release on November 1 that global cotton production for the 2023-2024 period is set to increase by 3% (25.42 million tonnes), while consumption is predicted to decrease by 0.43% (23.35 million tonnes), resulting in a 10% rise in global stocks.

J. Thulasidharan, the president of the ICF, suggests that cotton prices are anticipated to remain low due to sluggish global demand for textiles and clothing.

During market trading on November 7, the Shankar-6 variety of cotton was priced at ₹56,500 per candy.

Lalit Kumar Gupta, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Cotton Corporation of India, assured that officials would be present at all procurement centres to ensure that farmers receive the minimum support price. He also added that cotton prices are influenced by various factors, including domestic and international inventory levels.

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