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Cotton crop this year may be a record

Traders peg production at 3.7 million bales, compared with 3.4 million bales last year, though area under crop remains the same

Sharleen D'souza  |  Mumbai 

This year, India's cotton production is expected to be at an all-time high despite untimely rains in major growing areas, as this has only caused the yield to go up. This year traders expect total production of cotton to be higher than last year at 3.7 million bales. The trade and industry estimates are coming a day ahead of the meeting of the cotton advisory board taking place in Mumbai tomorrow.

Last year total production of cotton was 3.4 million bales. The area under cotton last year was 11.77 million hectares.

The area under cotton has remained the same as last year, but it is the yield which has gone up due to rains in September which turned out to be good for the crop.

This year the yield of cotton is expected to go up by 500 kg per ha, while last year it stood at 470 kg per ha. The yield has gone up mainly due to good rains during the monsoon season as well as rains towards the end of the monsoon season.

However, the quality of the crop will be affected initially due to higher moisture content, but, this will only be with the initial arrivals of cotton crop, said industry officials.

“September rains in crop growing areas turned out to be crucial for cotton and has helped increase yield and may take production to an all time high this year,” said M B Lall, a Mumbai based veteran cotton exporter.

This year, due to floods in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh traders initially feared that the cotton crop would get damaged but now traders say that damage was not much and had that late rains and floods would not have happened the crop could have been even higher.

“The cop has been impacted at the flowering and fruit stage but the damage is very small and won't impact the over all output of cotton,” said Arun Dalal, an Ahmedabad based cotton trader.

There has been some extent of crop damage, but is expected to be around two to three per cent which is very marginal to the over all production of cotton.

The government's first advanced estimate for cotton this year is 3.53 million bales, but traders estimate production to be higher.

In the last Cotton Advisory Board meeting which took place in June production figures for the current cotton year was not given as the board was still not clear about production. in second week of October, the board was to meet to give initial crop estimates but the meeting was postponed to understand the damage to the crop. now the CAB is meeting tomorrow where trade officials will give rosy crop picture. However, CAB meeting under the auspices of the textile commissioner's office will present its own estimate of the crop as per new system being implemented since last year.

First Published: Thu, October 31 2013. 22:32 IST