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India's cotton exports to rise 21% in 2015-16
Feb '16
There is finally some good news for India's cotton exporters. The country's cotton shipments are expected to rise more than 21 per cent to 70 lakh bales during 2015-16 on the back of a spike in demand from Pakistan.

Textile Commissioner Kavita Gupta told reporters in Mumbai that exports during the previous cotton season, which begins from October 1, stood at 57.72 lakh bales.

"The demand in Pakistan has grown due to crop damage in Punjab region. Almost 33 per cent of cotton crop in Pakistan has been damaged from whitefly. In the first three months till December 31, Pakistan has already imported 16.60 lakh bales from India, while it had imported overall 3.79 lakh bales in the entire year of 2014-15," she said.

Given Pakistan's requirements, it is likely to overtake Bangladesh as the top importer of Indian cotton, Gupta added.

India's cotton output is estimated at 352 lakh bales for 2015-16, down from 380 lakh bales in the previous season mainly on account of crop damage in Punjab due to whitefly, white ball worm in Gujarat and drought in Karnataka.

Gupta has also formed a five-member committee that will look into best practices in the cotton sector and will submit a report in six months.

The panel's mandate is to look at research and innovation, best practices and the possibility of replicating them in India and techniques of conserving water, among other things that would help in making cotton farming more sustainable, she added. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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