A report issued by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts that India’s cotton output is likely to drop by over two million bales this year.
“Cotton production is forecast to decrease by two million bales to 32.3 million bales as area is expected to drop by 10 per cent,” the USDA report said.
India, the world’s second biggest cotton grower, had produced a record 34.25 million bales in the 2011-12 marketing year. One bales contains 170 kg of cotton.
The decline in production, however, does not mean a decline in demand. Domestic cotton consumption is expected to increase to 26 million bales this year, up from 25.3 million bales in 2011-12, reported the Economic Times.
According to the USDA report, however, Indian farmers may not choose to plant more cotton to offset the demand. Instead, they “may decide to try crops that are subject to fewer policy-driven market disruptions as it is not clear whether the government will allow fresh cotton exports before the start of the 2012-13 marketing year or if the government will develop a new procedure for regulating exports.”
That attitude reflects another report released by the USDA that forecasted products such as corn, soybeans, peanuts, and wheat will take hold of the acreage left behind by diminishing cotton stocks in the United States.
The volatile cotton markets over the last few years has lead textile producers to seek out alternative fibres, such as rayon, to produce clothing.