India's cotton exports may dip by 8.8% to 12.87 million bales in the 2011-12 marketing year ending this month, on weak global demand, firm prices and tough export norms, says a USDA report.
In May 2012, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had pegged India's total cotton exports at around 14 million bales for the 2011-12 marketing year (August-July). One bale contains 170 kg of cotton.
"With the 2011-12 marketing year coming to a close, exports are now estimated at 12.87 million bales, lower than our May 2012 estimate," the USDA said in its latest report.
Weak foreign demand, a more stringent export registration policy and relatively firm prices have combined to limit cotton exports since the export ban was lifted on April 30, it said.
On May 4 and May 8, 2012, shortly after lifting its ban on cotton exports, India outlined new procedures for registration of new cotton export contracts.
The new policy limits the amount of each registration certificate (RC) to 10,000 bales of cotton for established exporters and to 1,500 bales for exporters who have not exported previously.
"...The latest registration requirements may be the most restrictive policy the government has implemented since 2010," it pointed out.
Export prospects for the months of August and September appear dim in light of anticipated weak foreign demand and the current export registration norms, it said.
Cotton production in India stood at a record 35.2 million bales in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June), as per the official data.