The provisional production estimate for 2011-12 is 353 lakh bales and export is 127 lakh bales

India’s cotton production and exports in the 2011-12 season (October to September) is expected to be the highest ever in the last 10 years.

According to the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB), which met in Mumbai on Thursday, the provisional production estimate for 2011-12 is 353 lakh bales and export is 127 lakh bales. At a meeting held in April this year, the board estimated production to be 347 lakh bales and exports to be 115 lakh bales. Usually, cotton arrivals in the market end in July. This year, about 340 lakh bales have already come to the market with close to 10,000 bales arriving every day. Hence, production estimates were revised upwards, say textile industry representatives.

The mills have nearly 15 lakh bales of cotton with them in the production process and about 15-day stock. So the season is expected to end with nearly 28 lakh bales as the closing stock. There may not be shortage with prices likely to remain stable as imports have started coming in.

The CAB estimated imports to be 12 lakh bales (arrivals till the end of September) as against the earlier expectation of six lakh bales. The board did not discuss the next season’s estimates as sowing was still going on in some of the cotton belts. The global ending stock for the season is expected to be high and hence international prices will not go up. In India, the minimum support price for cotton has increased while domestic prices will remain on par with the international prices next season.