India's cotton crop output to decline to 343 lakh bales in FY19: CITI

New Delhi, Apr 15 (PTI) India's cotton crop production may fall 7.87 per cent to 343 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) in the 2018-19 season, mainly due to drought in many cotton-growing regions, as per estimates released Monday by CITI. Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) Chairman Sanjay Jain told PTI the cotton crop output for the previous season ended September 2018 was 370 lakh bales, adding that the worst output in the past 12 years stood at 348 lakh bales, higher than the current season's projection of 343 lakh bales. The domestic textile industry body based the projections on actual data collected from cotton-growing areas for the October-September 2018 crop season. The Cotton Advisory Board had estimated the cotton crop to be 361 lakh bales on November 22, 2018. Jain said drought in many cotton-growing regions of Gujarat, a few regions of Maharashtra and a few areas in other cotton growing states has affected the yield. "CITI has revised the cotton crop estimates for 2018-19 based on the actual data collected from the cotton-growing areas in the country to 343 lakh bales of 170 kg," the body said. Jain said though we have a smaller crop size this year in comparison to last year, the cotton supply position is comfortable with a big ending stock of 40 lakh bales. "Thanks to a big opening stock, smaller exports and large imports, the production deficit is well covered. CCI (Cotton Corporation of India) has also started selling its stock, which will further increase liquidity in the cotton market," he said. Jain said as far as crop situation for the next year is concerned, the highly remunerative kapas (cotton) prices during the current year and the monsoon projection would induce the Indian farmers to prefer to grow more cotton. The CITI chairman also said the International Cotton Advisory Committee in their report for April 2019 have projected a 6 per cent rise in global production for 2019-20 at 27.6 million tonne and a higher ending stock for 2019-20. "Due to these factors, cotton prices are likely to remain steady and range-bound. Early monsoon and import arrivals in India may create downward pressure on cotton prices from June 2019," Jain said. PTI RSN HRS