India’s cotton production is likely to be lower at 35 mn bales in cotton year (CY) 2019 due to a decline in domestic cotton acreage to 114 lakh hectares compared to 122 lakh hectares in CY 2018 and an expected 10 per cent rise in prices, according to a recent report by credit rating agency ICRA. The Indian cotton year starts from October 1.
ICRA said decline in cotton output, the expected rise in domestic consumption and global cotton deficit expectations for CY 2019 are expected to keep cotton prices firm by 10 per cent, according to a report. The Cotton Association of India (CAI) in its April estimate had pegged the production for CY 2018 at 36 mn bales. Key cotton-growing regions in West and South India, where farmers are shifting to alternate crops like soybean as they suffered huge losses due to pest attacks in CY 2018, which led the decline in acreage.
As for CY 2019, India’s Northern belt reported a tepid beginning, with area under cotton being lower by 14 per cent this year till May end, according to ICRA. It is 18 per cent below the level reported at the same time last year. Cotton sowing is yet to commence in the Central, Western and Southern belts.