The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has estimated India's cotton crop for 2018-19 at 321 lakh bales of 170 kgs each, lower by 7 lakh bales than its previous estimate of 328 lakh bales made during last month. The crop is seen likely to be the lowest since the 305 lakh bales recorded in 2009-10, as per Cotton Advisory Board estimates.
The CAI has reduced the crop estimate for Gujarat by 1 lakh bales, Maharashtra by 80,000 bales, Telangana by 4 lakh bales, Andhra Pradesh by 1 lakh bales and Karnataka by 75,000 bales whereas there is marginal increase of 50,000 bales in Tamil Nadu and 5,000 bales in the State of Orissa.
The main reason for reduction in cotton crop during this year is the scarcity of water in some states and the fact that farmers uprooted their cotton plants in about 70-80% area without waiting for 3rd and 4th pickings.
The CAI has estimated cotton exports for the season (October 2018-September 2019) at 47 lakh bales, against last year’s estimated 69 lakh bales. This dip is attributed to the higher prices and smaller crop size of Indian cotton.
The imports this year are likely to be higher at 27 lakh bales, against last year’s estimated 15 lakh bales, the report said.
Domestic consumption of the fibre is estimated at 316 lakh bales for the season, of which CAI has estimated supply till March 2019 at 290 lakh bales. Of this, about 158 lakh bales are pegged for domestic consumption, 39 lakh for exports and about 93 lakh bales for overall stock with textile mills, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and multinational companies.
The CAI has estimated a closing stock of 13 lakh bales at the end of the season in September 2019, following a tight cotton balance sheet.