The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has projected India’s cotton production in 2018-19 (Aug-Jul) at 36.5 mln bales, down nearly 2% from the previous year and 200,000 bales lower than the official USDA estimate.
The USDA arm has estimated the country’s cotton output in 2017-18 at 37.2 mln bales, where one Indian bale equals 170 kg.
Dry weather in the key growing regions of Gujarat and Maharashtra have hampered crop development and will likely to affect yields of standing crop, the agency said in its report for September.
All-India yields for cotton are now forecast at 502 kg per ha, down 1% compared to the previous year.
Gujarat is the largest producer of cotton, followed by Maharashtra. Deficit rainfall and humid conditions have led to the emergence of various pests. However, according to the latest crop survey, all incidences of pests are below the economic threshold level, the report said.
The US agency has estimated opening stock of cotton for 2018-19 at 15.6 mln bales, higher than the opening stock of 14.3 mln bales in 2017-18.
Imports have been estimated at 1.9 mln bales in 2018-19, compared with 2.2 mln bales in the previous year.
On the demand side, consumption by mills in 2018-19 is seen at 32.1 mln bales, slightly higher from 31.4 bales a year earlier. Exports are seen falling to 5.5 mln bales from 6.7 mln bales in 2017-18.
Considering consumption and exports, the closing stock at the end of 2018-19 is pegged at 16.6 mln bales, up from 15.6 mln bales the previous year.