Indian cotton export will fall due to the low rainfall and pest attacks in cotton growing regions. Indian Cotton imports are expected to rise by 80%, said a senior official of the Cotton Association of India.
The drastic fall in the Indian cotton supply will benefit the United States, Brazil and Australia as these all nations will get an excellent opportunity to the intensify cotton supply in South Asia, particularly in China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Atul Ganatra, the president of the Cotton Association of India said: “The production is not sufficient to fulfil local consumption. From March onwards imports will pick up.”
In 2017-18, India’s cotton import accounted for 2.7 million bales, noting increment of 1.5 million bales in relation to the previous year. The spinning mills imported 548,000 bales in the month of January. India imports cotton from three countries i.e. the United States, Brazil, and Egypt.
“Due to dry weather farmers were forced to uproot plants early. They couldn’t go for third and fourth picking,” Ganatra said.
India’s cotton production heavily depends on rainfall in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Last year monsoon season recorded less rainfall which led to pest attacks affecting per hectare yield. In the current year, India is expected to produce 33 million bales, 2.5 million bales less in comparison to the previous year prediction of 33.5 million bales. The fall in output will lead to less supply of cotton from India. “India’s exports could fall 27.5% from a year ago to 5 million bales, the lowest level in a decade”, Ganatra said.
Indian farmers have not been able to cope with the rising problem of pest attacks, even with the help of pest-resistant Bt Cotton.
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