JAN 7 2019

In its latest estimate for cotton crop, the apex body, the Cotton Association of India (CAI), has predicted India's cotton crop at 335 lakh bales (each of 170kg) for the year 2018-19, about 8 per cent lower from 365 lakh bales reported last year. Citing water shortage due to deficient rainfall in the growing regions, CAI stated that farmers in about 70-80 per cent of the cotton area have uprooted cotton plants.

"As a result, there is no scope for a third and fourth picking," Atul Ganatra, President, CAI, said in a statement. The crop estimate has been reduced from CAI's earlier estimate of 340.25 lakh bales. The CAI has reduced the crop estimate for Gujarat by 1.50 lakh bales and for Maharashtra and Telangana by 2 lakh bales each.

The total cotton supply projected from October 2018 to December 2018 at 142.50 lakh bales, comprises arrivals of 115.97 lakh bales up to December 31, 2018, imports of 3.53 lakh bales up to December 31, 2018, and the opening stock at the beginning of the season, estimated by the committee at 23 lakh bales.

The CAI has estimated cotton consumption during the months of October 2018 to December at 80 lakh bales, while the export shipment of cotton up to December 31, 2018 has been estimated at 17 lakh bales. Cotton imports are estimated at 27 lakh bales, which is higher by 12 lakh bales compared to the previous year’s import estimated at 15 lakh bales.

Domestic consumption is estimated at 320 lakh bales, which is lower by 4 lakh bales compared to the consumption figure estimated during the last month. Exports for the season 2018-19 is expected at 51 lakh bales, which is lower by 18 lakh bales, compared to the export of 69 lakh bales estimated last year. Carry-over stock at the end of the 2018-19 season was estimated at 14 lakh bales, a CAI statement said. – The Hindu Businessline (Source: