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Cotton production may decline but prices will remain firm: JAU report

2021-10-23 10:50:34
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Cotton production may decline but prices will remain firm: JAU report

Cotton production may see a decline in India this year after damage to the crop due to heavy rain in Maharashtra Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in September and an attack by pink bollworm, though robust global demand will keep the prices firm, according to a price forecast report released by the Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) in Junagadh on Friday.

The report released by the WTO Cell of the Department of Agricultural Economics (DAE) of the JAU underlined the fact that cotton acreage in the country declined to around 124 lakh hectare (lh) in Kharif season 2021-22 as against 131 lh in 2020-21 due to variations in advent of monsoon in some of the key regions of this crop. This, coupled with heavy rains in September may lead to a decline in production this season, the report said.

“This year, at country level, cotton production is estimated 362 lakh bales (First Advanced Estimate, dt. 21-09-2021) slight more than the last year (354 lakh bales). But the torrential rain received in the last week of September, 2021, in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat has damaged the crop to large extent, besides huge damage due to pink bollworm is also feared, (this) may result in lower production than last year,” the report prepared by DAE’s associate research scientist Maganlal Dhandhalya and his team stated.

Citing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the JAU report states that global cotton production is projected at 1,531 lakh bales in 2021-22, compared to 1,439 bales the previous year. However, the consumption of cotton is expected to remain 1,588 lakh bales — 57 lakh bales more than last year. This, the JAU report said, is expected to keep the price of cotton firm in world market in the current year.

The price range forecast by the JAU report is higher than Rs 6,025 per quintal fixed by the Central government as the minimum support price (MSP) for long-staple Bt cotton variety. “If export opportunities and world consumption continue to remain better, there is some chance that, cotton price may go up in future,” the JAU report adds.

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