The average cotton yield in 2013-14 has increased by nine per cent to 565.36 kg per hectare (ha) compared to 2012-13 as the quality of the seeds has improved despite the area under cotton falling to 11.73 million ha compared to 11.98 million ha in 2012-13.
The Cotton Advisory Board, which met on Wednesday, has pegged cotton production on the higher side this year at 39 million bales compared to 36.5 million bales last year.
The cotton area in north India has decreased to 1.3 million ha compared to 1.5 million ha. Central India has also seen acreage under cotton drop to 7.1 million ha from 7.2 million ha. Gujarat has seen a fall in area to 2.4 million ha from 2.6 ha.
However, Maharashtra saw a rise in acreage and it went up to 4.1 million ha from 3.8 million ha. The acreage under cotton has remained stagnant at 3 million bales.
“There has been a remarkable increase in productivity, and the focus currently is on breeder seeds. Seeds should be accessible to the farmers,” said textile commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta.
Exports of cotton increased to 11.4 million bales compared to 10.1 million bales last year, according to CAB estimates. Imports of cotton also decreased to 800,000 bales compared to 1.4 million bales last year. China imports more than 65 per cent of India's cotton. This year so far it has imported 6.2 million bales. The other major importers of Indian cotton are Bangladesh, Turkey, Vietnam and Pakistan.
India, imports extra-long staple cotton, which is not available domestically. Mill consumption of cotton has more or less remained stagnant at 25 million bales, while small-scale units’ consumption has increased marginally this year to 2.5 million bales from 2.3 million bales last year.
Total demand for cotton this cotton year is pegged at 40.1 million bales compared to 38.4 million bales last year.