By Kavita Desai - Cogencis, 

Thursday, Sep 12

MUMBAI – India's cotton output for 2019-20 (Oct-Sep) marketing year is seen at 36.8 mln bales (1 bale = 170 kg), according to an average of estimates by 10 prominent players in the cotton value chain polled by Cogencis. At 36.8 mln bales, next year's output would be around 12-15% higher than the market estimate of 32.0 mln bales for the current year.

According to the government's fourth advance estimate, cotton production in 2018-19 was pegged at 28.7 mln bales. The Cotton Advisory Board has pegged cotton output for 2018-19 at around 33.7 mln bales, while the Cotton Association of India has projected the crop at 31.2 mln bales. Most of the participants polled said the output is projected to rise mainly due to three factors--higher area, higher rainfall, and consequently higher yields. Increase in the proportion of Bt cotton acreage would further help increase the yield, they said.

Cotton acreage in the country is at 12.6 mln ha so far, up nearly 7% on year, according to farm ministry data. Of the total area, around 11.8 mln ha or nearly 94% is under Bt cotton. The area under Bt cotton has increased by 1.5 mln ha from the previous year, thanks to the increased use of herbicide tolerant Bt cotton seeds, though declared illegal by the government.

"Timely and well distributed rains in most producing states have lead to good moisture level in the soil," said Biren Vakil, chief executive officer of Ahmedabad-based Paradigm Commodity Advisors.  There is a sizeable increase in acreage under cotton in north India and the yield potential is also expected to be higher due to conducive weather which will contribute to the country's total output, said Vakil.

Most poll participants are very optimistic this year as, so far, the condition of the crop is good, with no reports of infestation by pests. However, monsoon will play an important role. Since Jun 1, the country received 805.3 mm rainfall against the normal of 783.4 mm for the period.

In central India, rainfall was above normal in most subdivisions. It was 32% above normal in Gujarat, 29% above normal in Maharashtra, and 26% above normal in Madhya Pradesh. While, in northern India rainfall was 39% below normal in Haryana, 6% below normal in Punjab and 32% above normal in Rajasthan. Telangana, a major cotton grower in south India, has so far received 4% below normal rains.


Though the condition of the crop looks good thus far, excess and continuous rains in the coming weeks may have a negative impact on crop nearing harvesting. This, in turn, may require downgrading the qualitative and quantitative estimates at a later stage, most market experts said.

"We have to watch the rain activity. The high humidity and low temperatures due to continuous rain could lead to a pest infestation. Also, farmers have not removed weeds due to constant rain in some regions," said Vijay Waghmare, director of Nagpur-based Central Institute for Cotton Research.

Currently, crop is being harvested in north India, and at vegetative stages elsewhere. However, now the crop needs dry conditions for five to seven days, said Jayesh Mahajan, a senior official at Maharashtra State Co-op Cotton Growers Marketing Federation Ltd. If it continues to rain for another seven to eight days, production may fall to 34.0 mln bales and new crop arrivals might be delayed by 20-25 days, said Mahajan.

Summary of the Cogencis poll on India 2019-20 (Oct-Sep) cotton output:

* Range of expectations: 34.0-40.0 mln bales for 2019-20, against 31.5-34.0 mln bales for 2018-19

* Mode: 35.0 mln bales vs 32.0 mln bales

* Mean: 36.6 mln bales vs 32.2 mln bales

* Median: 36.8 mln bales vs 32.0 mln bales

Following are the output estimates for 2019-20, in mln bales by polled entities:


Poll participants

Cotton crop


Cotton crop 2018-19

Kotak Securities



South Asia Biotechnology Centre



Cotton Guru



National Collateral Management



Central Institute for Cotton Research



Global agri business firm



USDA Foreign Agricultural Service



Paradigm Commodity



Maharashtra State Coop Cotton Growers Marketing Federation



Confederation Of Indian Textile Industry




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