India’s cotton output pegged at 8-year low
With a shortage of water in cotton-growing regions, India is staring at the lowest output of the fibre crop in nearly a decade. In its latest estimates, the Cotton Association of India has further trimmed the crop size by 5 lakh bales to 330 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) for the 2018-19 season, with major loss in output in the key-producing States of Gujarat, Telangana and Karnataka.
On Thursday, CAI released its monthly crop estimate for January 2019, in which it lowered the estimate for the third time in a row. The latest crop estimate for 2018-19 sees output at the lowest level since 2010-11, when the country’s cotton crop was 332.25 lakh bales.
CAI data revealed that a sharp decline in output is projected in the cotton heartlands of Gujarat and Karnataka to the extent of 20 per cent each, while Telangana is to witness a 13 per cent dip in output. The association has estimated the cotton crop for Gujarat — the largest grower in the country — at 83.5 lakh bales as against 105 lakh bales reported last year.
All-India cotton output was estimated to decline of nearly 10 per cent for 2018-19.
In the Southern zone, farmers have uprooted their cotton plants due to moisture deficiency, as a result of which there is no scope for the third and fourth pickings, said Atul Ganatra, president, CAI.