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Cotton body maintains projections on crop outlook


The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has retained its production outlook of the crop for the current season (October 2022-September 2023) at 311.18 lakh bales (170 kg each).

The association had last month raised the estimate after having it lower below 310 lakh bales in June following lower arrivals of cotton this season. The crop projection for this season is against 299.16 lakh bales last season. “The CAI Crop Committee estimated crop figures based on the cotton pressing numbers and arrivals concerning various States based on the input received from the members of its associations,” it said in a statement. Members from across associations of all growing States gave their inputs on pressing numbers and arrivals. 

CAI members will keep a close watch on the pressing numbers and arrivals in the subsequent months for any addition or reduction, the association said.

Lower closing stocks

CAI said cotton arrivals during October-July this season are estimated at 296.80 lakh bales. Closing stocks this season are projected to be 23.18 lakh bales against 24 lakh bales last season. 

According to the association, imports are likely to increase to 15 lakh bales from 14 lakh bales last season, while exports are likely to drop sharply by 63 per cent to 16 lakh bales from 43 lakh bales.

Consumption of cotton this season will likely be 311 lakh bales against 318 lakh bales a year ago. The numbers were arrived at after deliberations by 20 of CAI members from across the country, the statement said.

This season, cotton growers had held back their produce leading to confusion over production numbers. This was because last season they fetched record prices for their produce.

Prices down by 30%

On the other hand, the cotton industry has been affected by slack demand, particularly for exports in view of recession and high interest rates affecting consumption in the global market.

Cotton prices which had topped ₹1 lakh a candy (356 kg) have dropped a third since then to currently rule at ₹61,000 currently. In view of low prices this season, cotton growers have shifted to oilseeds and pulses. 

As of August 11, the area under cotton was down by 1 per cent at 121.28 lakh hectares against 122.53 lakh hectares a year ago.

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