There is good demand for Indian cotton from overseas markets this season.

By: Nanda Kasabe | Pune | March 7, 2018

There is good demand for Indian cotton from overseas markets this season. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia and various other countries are buying cotton from India heavily this season. Around 40 lakh bales of cotton have been exported from the country so far and another 15-20 lakh bales are expected to be exported by the end of this season, top officials of the Khandesh Ginning & Pressing Factory Owners & Traders Association said.

Interestingly, there are market reports of the likelihood of export of some 10 lakh bales to China this season. Alongside exports, imports have also gone up this season because of the Pink Bollworm infestation, according to industry people. There is good demand coming from these countries for Indian cotton, according to Pradeep Jain, president of the Association. Around 14 lakh bales have been exported to Bangladesh so far, 9 lakh bales to Pakistan and the remaining to Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Exports from India this year have received a fillip thanks to the rupee depreciation, he said. Industry experts pointed out that China has not been importing cotton for the last two to three years and has been using its buffer stock of some 1 crore bales and may soon tap overseas markets for some 20-25 lakh bales in the next 7-8 months.

In addition to exports, the country has also imported around 10 lakh bales so far and there is the possibility of imports touching 35-40 lakh bales, industry experts pointed out. The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has lowered its crop estimates for the ongoing 2017-18 crop year at 367 lakh bales. The association has released its January 2018 estimate of the cotton crop for the year 2017-18 beginning from October 1, 2017.

The CAI has lowered its estimate for the ongoing season by 8 lakh bales. The reason is severe Pink Bollworm infestation, Atul Ganatra, president of CAI had stated. In accordance with the advice of the scientists, the farmers in several areas, particularly in Maharashtra and Telangana, have uprooted their cotton crop without waiting for further pickings, he said.

The projected balance sheet drawn by the CAI estimated total cotton supply for the season at 417 lakh bales of 170 kg each, including the opening stock of 30 lakh bales at the beginning of the season, and the imports which the CAI estimated at 20 lakh bales for the 2017-2018 crop year.