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India's cotton exports drop to 4.5 million bales

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Affected by sluggish Chinese demand, the country has exported only 4.5 million bales of cotton so far and the overall shipments are expected to fall by 29 per cent to 7 million bales in the ongoing crop year ending September, a top Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) official said today.

Total cotton exports from India, the world's largest producer and second-biggest seller, stood at 9.9 million bales in the last year crop year (October-September).

"There is no possibility of export right now as demand is not there. We have exported around 4.5 million bales of cotton so far. I don't think more than 7 million bales will be exported in this crop year," a senior official of state-run CCI told PTI.

One bale contains 170 kg of cotton.

Exports have slowed down due to higher world stockpiles and sharp decline in demand from China, the official said.

The record volume of cotton stocks has put downward pressure on international cotton prices, which have averaged around 68-70 cents per pound for much of the season, said global body International Cotton Advisory Committee, in its recent report.

The CCI, which procures cotton at government set price from farmers, said it has procured 8.69 million bales of cotton at the support price as against the target of 9 million bales in the 2014-15 crop year.

"Cotton procurement is almost over. Now, we have started offloading cotton through e-auction. We have been able to sell around 5 lakh bales so far," the official added.

Cotton procurement has been stopped now as domestic prices have improved and arrivals have also tapered down, the official said, adding that cotton prices have increased by Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per candy (which is equal to 2.10 bales).

The CCI is offloading cotton at different rates depending on variety. Since it is a huge quantity, the sale would continue up to September, the official said.

The Cotton Advisory Board has pegged the country's total cotton production at over 40 million bales in the 2014-15 crop year, as against 39.8 million bales in 2013-14.

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First Published: Tue, April 21 2015. 14:02 IST