India’s cotton output for the 2015-16 season, beginning October 2015, has been estimated at 345 lakh bales. Adding last season’s surplus, the total cotton supply would be 432.60 lakh bales for the season. Of this, domestic consumption is projected at 304 lakh bales, which will leave a surplus of 128.60 lakh bales.
Up to February end, cotton arrival is estimated at 245 lakh bales, which is 11.31 per cent lower than 276.25 lakh bales of arrival during the same period last season. The lower arrival this season indicates a lower crop, and if the trend continues, the estimate will have to be further revised downwards.
Pest attack in parts of Punjab and Haryana and drought for the second consecutive year in some areas have reduced cotton yields this season. Nevertheless India is the largest cotton producer in the world. Cotton production in China and the US has been estimated to be lower by 13.3 per cent and 17.7 per cent respectively than that in the previous season.
Pakistan has replaced Bangladesh to emerge as the largest buyer of Indian cotton in the October-December 2015 quarter. The second biggest buyer of Indian cotton is Bangladesh.