The Cotton Advisory Board on Wednesday scaled up the export and import estimates for the commodity for cotton year 2012-13 (October-September). The board, restructured early this month, on Wednesday said export estimates had been revised from seven million bales to eight million bales. Cotton imports were also rising; against the earlier estimate of 1.2 million bales, these were now expected to stand at two million bales, as southern mills still found imports viable, it added.
The cotton crop estimate for this year has been pared from 33.4 million bales to 33 million bales.
While exports are rising and estimated consumption by mills has also been revised from 23 million bales to 23.4 million bales, the demand-supply gap would be met through higher imports and an upward revision in opening stock — from 2.85 million bales to four million bales. Textile commissioner A B Joshi told reporters this revision was a one-time exercise. The closing stock estimate was retained at 3.45 million bales. Joshi said 3.5 million bales had been registered with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade for exports and so far, 2.4 million bales had been shipped out of the country.
In the second half of 2012, international cotton prices had declined and demand from China also fell. Then, it was expected cotton exports might not meet the estimate of seven million bales. Currently, cotton prices in the US are at a seven-month high of about 79 cents a pound. Of the 2.4 million bales exported, 30 per cent were sent to China.
Bangladesh has lowered its import of Indian cotton by six to eight per cent, compared to last year, owing to the slowdown. Still, it is among the top two export destination for India’s cotton exporters.
The Ministry of Agriculture has revised the area under cotton from 11,610,000 lakh hectares to 11,770,000 hectares. Mill consumption is expected to stand at 23.4 million bales, compared with 22.3 million bales last year, owing to export demand for cotton yarn, especially from China and Bangladesh. Yarn exports are expected to rise from about 700 million kg last year to about 1,000 million kg this year.
This year, about 10 per cent of the non-BT cotton crop was destroyed by cotton ball worm. Joshi said though there was evidence the BT crop also had cotton ball worm eggs, the crop hadn’t been impacted.