The cotton harvest in India, the world’s second-biggest grower, is poised to decline as the worst monsoon since 2009 parches fields and curbs planting, potentially cutting exports for the first time in three years.
The crop in Gujarat, the largest producer, may plunge as much as 30 per cent in the harvest starting October 1 from 12 million bales of 170 kg each a year earlier, said Hasmukhbhai Raval, chairman of the Gujarat State Cooperative Cotton Federation. The planted area in the state will probably slump by as much as 25 percent from 3 million hectares in 2011-2012, he said.
Rainfall in some parts of Gujarat is as much as 81 per cent below a 50-year average as more than 50 per cent is threatened by drought, shriveling crops from rice to cotton and oilseeds. A smaller harvest would reduce exports, helping halt a decline in New York prices, which slumped 23 per cent in the past year as demand slowed in China, the biggest consumer.
“The outlook for the 2013 crop suggests global supply might be squeezed due to competition for acreage from crops like soybeans, and the weak monsoon in India,” Abah Ofon, an analyst at Standard Chartered Plc, said by e-mail. “Output is being disincentivised at current price levels and we believe global supply will be lower next year.”