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USDA Anticipates a Brilliant Cotton Crop in India, 4% Higher for Next Season

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Cotton crop

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has estimated that cotton production in India would be 378 lakh bales in October 2021 and September 2022. This is 4% higher than this season’s estimate of 362.5 lakh bales.  

However, the textile industry of India does not agree, as it feels that it is too early to predict anything. This is because of the vagaries of the Southwest monsoon.  

The USDA, in its “Cotton and Products Update,” said that the estimated higher cotton yield is in view of the forecast of a normal monsoon in India by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).  

USDA is making a higher estimate despite its estimate that the area under cotton is lower at 129 lakh hectares.  

Cotton sowing will begin shortly in Haryana and Punjab, while it will start next month in other states.  

Estimation by Committee for Cotton Production and Consumption 

India’s Committee for Cotton Production and Consumption (CCPC), which includes stakeholders like government officials on board, estimates that the production of cotton for this season would be 360 lakh bales. This goes a little lower than the estimation made by USDA.  

The CCPC has reduced its estimates from its earlier one of 371 lakh bales. This comes in time when the Cotton Association of India (CAI), which is a trader’s organization, has estimated the output at 360 lakh bales in the beginning of the season.  

Estimation by Southern India Mills Association  

According to the Secretary General of Southern India Mills Association, K Selvaraju, cotton production of India could top at 400 lakh bales provided that the country witnesses a normal monsoon and the cotton crop is not attacked by any pest.  

Unseasonal rains play spoilsport for cotton crop  

Last year, unseasonal rains had spoiled cotton in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Cotton production in 2019-20 stood at 360 lakh bales.  

Selvaraju says, “in Telangana, we were expecting a production of 70 lakh bales but rains reduced it to 50 lakh bales.” 

It is for this reason, perhaps, that the CCPC and the Mills Association are hesitant in making any big estimation for cotton. When rains pour suddenly and the crop gets affected badly, all estimation goes down the drain. As put by a textile industry source, “this has been happening for the last two years.”  

It is better to keep fingers crossed and hope that the USDA’s estimation for Indian cotton comes true.  

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