August 7, 2012
India's 2012-13 cotton production may drop 12%
India's cotton production is likely to decline by 12% to 30 million bales in 2012-13 marketing year starting this month.
For 2012-13 the USDA, had initially pegged the country's production at 32.3 million bales in its first estimate in April which has now been revised on the downside and forecasted to 30 million bales.
Besides, compared to 12.68 million bales exports last year this year on back of lower production prospect, exports are expected to decline to 5.4 million bales. Though farmers will be encouraged to plant more cotton by August rains but planted area will drop further due to persistent dry conditions at this late stage.
Yields are expected to drop further to 480 kilogrammes per hectare, lowering production to 30 million bales, down 700,000 bales from the current estimate. So far the country has experienced rainfall deficit to the tune of 20%.
Also the key cotton growing states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and certain areas of Karnataka have been facing dry conditions. Lower than the government's targeted area of 11.5 million hectares, this year the farmers are expected to sow cotton in a total area of 10.6 million hectare which is 200,000 hectare less than the first estimate projected by USDA.
In the 2011-12 marketing year (August-July) period, India which is the world's second biggest cotton grower and exporter, had produced a record 34.25 million bales where one bales contains 170 kilogrammes of cotton.
The central cotton growing zone which includes the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha are the prime one where about two-thirds of the country's cotton is produced and much of the crop is rain-fed.