India has exported close to 10 lakh bales of cotton so far to Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia this kharif season. Total exports are likely to touch 65 lakh bales. So far this season, total cotton arrivals in India have been to the tune of 65 lakh bales against 70 lakh bales during the corresponding period last year.
Prices are expected to start rising once arrivals from the first picking are completed by the end of December. Mills also have been stocking up on cotton, anticipating a fall in supply in the not too distant future. The ginning industry continues to face shortage on weak arrivals. The daily requirement is around four lakh bales and barely two lakh bales are available on a daily basis. First pickings in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana are in the final stages. Ginners are facing problems because there is no parity and there are payments issues in addition to fears about the quality of cotton from next month.
The country’s production in 2019 is estimated at 348 lakh bales, down nearly five per cent from a year ago. Cotton prices are hovering around minimum support prices of Rs 5,150 per quintal for the medium staple variety and Rs 5,450 per quintal for the long staple variety.