Cotton Exports Likely To Rise To 70 Lakh Bales

Cotton Exports Likely To Rise To 70 Lakh Bales

India’s cotton exports during the previous cotton season, which begins from October 1, stood at 57.72 lakh bales. During the 2015-16 season, cotton exports are expected to rise by 21.27 per cent to 70 lakh bales (170 kg each) mostly due to rise in demand from Pakistan, a senior official said today.

Textile commissioner Kavita Gupta said this year, Pakistan will overtake Bangladesh as the top importer of Indian cotton as the demand in Pakistan has grown due to crop damage in Punjab region. Almost 33 per cent of cotton crop in Pakistan has been damaged from whitefly.

In the first three months till December 31, Pakistan has already imported 16.60 lakh bales from India, while it had imported overall 3.79 lakh bales in the entire year of 2014-15.

Gupta said that the output is estimated at 352 lakh bales in 2015-16, compared to 380 lakh bales in the previous season mainly on account of crop damage in Punjab due to whitefly, white ball worm in Gujarat and drought in Karnataka.

The production in Punjab is expected to be 9 lakh bales this season from 12 lakh bales last year, while in Gujarat, it will be 101 lakh bales from 108 lakh bales and in Karnataka, it is estimated to be 20 lakh bales from 31.50 lakh bales earlier.

Gupta has formed a five-member committee, which will look at research and innovation, best practices in the sector and their replicability and techniques of conserving water, among other things. This will help in making cotton growing more sustainable.