First Estimate of India’s New Season Cotton Crop

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By: Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA


Today, India’s first estimate of the current season’s cotton crop has been released.


Today, Mumbai-based Cotton Association of India (CAI) has released the first estimate of cotton crop for the current season (October ‘17-September ’18). India is projected to produce 37.5 million (375 lakh) bales of cotton, each weighing 170 Kgs.


Last year’s crop was 33.725 million (337.25 lakh) bales (170 Kgs each).


The increase this year is due to increase in the acreage by about 19% compared to the last season.


India’s cotton balance sheet this new season will show surplus with a closing stock of 3.9 million bales. Export this season will be at the same level as last year at 6.3 million bales of 170 Kgs each. Total domestic demand will be 32 million bales.


The chance of having enhanced production more than the first estimate of 37.5 million bales is slim. Yield this season will be affected by pink boll worm infestation and unseasonal rainfalls in September-October timeframe in the cotton belt.


Stagnancy in the price realization for pulses and oil seeds has led the farmers to diversify to cotton. Farmers switched to cotton during kharif season, June-July planting season, primarily due to price issue with pulses and oil seeds, stated an agriculture analyst based in Mumbai.



Arrival of cotton has just begun and only by the end of this month, exact picture of quality and production will be known, but it is likely that the production may not exceed the first estimate projected today. 


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