Cotton exports are expected to revive with China placing big orders with Indian traders.Moreover, Indian cotton prices are 10 cents cheaper at 80 cents per pound compared to the global price on the ICE.
Atul S Ganatra, President, Cotton Association of India (CAI), said exports will touch 70 lakh bales (lb) as the country has already shipped out 55 lb till March-end and has 10 lb committed orders which will be executed by May-end.
Of the overall exports, China has bought 6 lb so far and is likely to look to India as it is planning to levy 25 per cent duty on imports from the US, he added. China has almost exhausted its cotton inventory and will be in the market to import the fibre and India has a good chance especially with the new duty on imports from the US, said Ganatra.
However, he said the acreage in Maharashtra and Telangana will reduce sharply as the farmers have suffered huge losses this year due to lower price and the pink bollworm attack reduced the yield sharply.
Most of the farmers are planning to shift to soyabean, he said.
The association has reduced cotton output estimate in March to 360 lb against 362 lb estimated in February. Last year the output was 338 lb. Mill consumption is expected to drop to 324 lb (330 lb), while exports may increase to 65 lb (60 lb). With overall supply expected to touch 410 lb, the closing stock by the season end is expected to be higher at 27 lb (22 lb).
Kavita Gupta, Textile Commissioner, said the Centre has been encouraging farmers to grow soyabean as an inter-crop to hedge against possible fall in prices or if there is a pest attack.
The CICR has also introduced new long staple cotton variety which is robust and also pest-resistant, she said.
The Cotton Advisory Board will meet soon this month to come out with production estimates, she said.
Further, she said the Textile Commission has introduced a reporting format for the entire value chain of cotton starting with ginners, millers, traders to file returns on their stock holding on a quarterly basis.