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USDA FAS keeps India's cotton output forecast for 2023-24 unchanged at 33.3 million bales

25 Nov 2023 10:40 am
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NEW DELHI, Nov 24 : The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Mumbai forecast marketing year (MY) 2023/24 India cotton production at 26 million 480 lb. bales (33.3 million 170-kilogram bales/5.6 million metric tons or MT) on 12.7 million hectares area planted, unchanged from the previous forecast.

The agency said in its report on Wednesday (Nov 22, 2023) that farmers in southern India have replaced 17 percent of last season’s cotton area to maize, paddy, and oilseeds to take advantage of higher price expectations.

A slow pace of new crop arrivals is observed as seed cotton prices have fallen below the minimum support price and farmers await government procurement operations.

Post forecasts MY 2023/24 mill consumption at 24 million 480 lb. bales, up two percent from the previous estimate, as low fiber and yarn prices spurn exports and lead to a marginal recovery in demand.

Production

FAS Mumbai forecasts MY 2023/24 India cotton production at 26 million 480 lb. bales (33.3 million 170-kilogram bales/5.6 million metric tons or MT), unchanged from the previous forecast. All India yield forecasts remain estimated at 446 kilograms per hectare , while official government data published on November 6 indicate that five-year average (2017-2021) cotton yields are estimated at 458 kilograms per hectare.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), rainfall over the country during the 2023 monsoon season (June-September), reached 94 percent of its long period average or LPA (a calculation of rainfall recorded over a particular region for a given interval average over a long period).

However, erratic rainfall distribution is likely to increase the risk of field pest infestation and negatively impact yields in north and central India. Excess rains in June and July in major cotton growing districts was followed by deficit rains in August, and a return of excess rains in September.

On October 27, the first advance estimate of production of principal crops for MY 2023/24 was published by the MOAFW. Cotton production is estimated at 24.7 million 480 lb. bales (31.7 million 170-kilogram bales/5.4 million metric tons). According to the press release, the first production assessment for the 2023/24 (Kharif) is largely based on an average yield of last three years, and may change after receiving yield estimates on actual crop cutting experiments.

On October 17, the MOAFW also published final estimates for the MY 2022/23 season, with production at 26.3 million 480 lb. bales (33.7 million 170-kilogram bales/5.7 million metric tons).

The provisional production estimate for MY 2023/24, and the final estimate for MY 2022/23 was adopted by the Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption (COCPC), which published its provisional cotton balance sheet and state-wise area, production and yield estimates on November 6. They estimate MY 2023/24 production at 24.7 million 480 lb. bales (31.7 million 170-kilogram bales/5.4 million metric tons) on an area of 12.6 million hectares.

The nationwide average yield is estimated at 429 kilograms per hectare. The COCPC was established to estimate India’s cotton supply balance sheet and is co-chaired by the Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The committee replaced the erstwhile Cotton Advisory Board (CAB), which was abolished last year.

Stocks

Post estimates MY 2023/24 carryover stocks at 11.8 million 480 lb. bales, two percent lower than previous estimate. There are no government-held stocks, but government agencies are likely to undertake procurement operations under the MSP program. Carryover stocks include privately held stocks by farmers, ginners, exporters, and textile mills.

Trade Post forecasts MY 2023/24 cotton exports at two million 480 lb. bales (2.5 million 170-kilogram bales/ 435,450 metric tons), unchanged from the previous forecast. MY 2023/24 (Aug-Sep) provisional estimates of raw cotton exports indicate that exports are higher by more than 300 percent as compared to last year. Post expects the volume of exports to be higher as new crop arrivals gradually increase in the market pushing market prices lower.

According to the September 2023 provisional trade data published by the Ministry of Commerce, exports of cotton yarn/fabric/made-ups and handloom products rose by 27 percent (by value) as compared to last year. However, cumulative exports between April 2023 and September 2023 witnessed a marginal one percent increase on a year-on-year basis. Other value-added products continue to face sluggish demand.

Exports of readymade garments of all textiles (by value) in September 2023 declined by 11 percent as compared to last year, and by 15 percent between April 2023 and September 2023 on a year-on-year basis. Similarly, exports of man-made yarn/fabric/made-ups also declined by seven percent in September 2023 as compared to last year, and by ten percent on a cumulative basis (April 2023 –September 2023) from last year.

Post forecasts MY 2023/24 cotton imports at one million 480 lb. bales (1.3 million 170-kilogram bales/ 218,000 metric tons), unchanged from the previous estimate, as mills retain access to cheap domestic fiber supplies.

(By CommoditiesControl Bureau; +91-9820130172)



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