Domestic cotton production this season, which began on October 1, is expected to be 360 lakh bales, according to provisional estimates of the Cotton Advisory Board.
In the first meeting for this season on Thursday, the Board estimated the total cotton supply for the period October 2019 to September 2020 at 429.41 lakh bales against 403.91 lakh bales in the previous season.
Though the area under cotton cultivation this year (125.84 lakh ha) is marginally less than that of last year (126.58 lakh ha), production is expected to be higher because of relatively better yield.
“The rains were good this year in the cotton growing areas and that is why we expect higher production,” said K. Selvaraju, secretary general of Southern India Mills’ Association, who took part in the meeting.
The board estimated imports to decline to 25 lakh bales from 31 lakh bales last year, and exports to go up from 44 lakh bales in the 2018-2019 cotton season to 50 lakh bales this season.
Consumption by textile mills is also likely to be slightly higher at 288 lakh bales from 274.50 lakh bales last year.
The cost of cotton (Shankar-6 variety) on Thursday was ₹38,700 a candy. Cotton prices are lower now compared with the same period last year and are expected to stabilise between ₹39,000 and ₹40,000 a candy this season, said Atul Ganatra, president of the Cotton Association of India.