The country’s cotton production for the current season is estimated to be 32.2 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) against 31.5 million bales last year, marginally up by 2.22 per cent. The acreage under the crop has fallen 3.09 per cent to 9.26 million hectares compared with 9.55 million hectares last year.
In its first meeting over the crop estimates today, Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) said that it is because of high usage of Bt Cotton, which is expected to bring better yield, that the estimated crop size in the cotton year 2008-09 (October-September) is more than last year’s despite fall in acreage.
Bt cotton has captured 75 per cent of the total acreage this year against 67 per cent last year.
The average yield per hectare is estimated at 591.14 kg per hectare, up 5.48 per cent, against last year’s 560.44 kg per hectare.
Outputs of the north and central regions are estimated to fall 8.51 per cent and 1.54 per cent respectively. CAB, in its estimates, said that Punjab’s output may decrease by over 9 per cent whereas that of Gujarat will be marginally down 1.79 per cent.
The South has outperformed the other cotton-growing regions as its overall production is slated to be higher by 24 per cent at 7.3 million bales against last year’s 5.9 million bales.
Gujarat which will contribute 11 million bales in 2008-09 is once again leading in yield factor with 773.69 kg per hectare followed by Andhra Pradesh (747.54 kg), Tamil Nadu (708.33 kg) and Rajasthan (626.73 kg).
In 2008-09, cotton exports as well as exports are expected to decline due to less demand from the global and domestic markets. The exports will be 7.5 million bales as against 8.5 million bales last year. Imports on the other hand will be down to 0.5 million bales against 0.65 million bales last year.