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Indian short staple cotton output may run short of demand
Feb '12
Despite a raw cotton bumper crop expected in the current season in India, the short-staple variety of cotton is expected to be in short supply and may have to be imported. The short-staple cotton variety is mainly consumed by denim fabric producers.

Production of short-staple cotton (length of one inch or less) in major cotton producing states like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra has been hit, mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions during planting time and also during flowering stage.

“There is a reduction in output of the short staple category. One reason for this being the low prices that the farmers received for the variety last year, hence they opted to grow other crops rather than growing short staple cotton”, said Mr NM Sharma, MD - Gujarat State Co-operative Cotton Federation (GUJCOT).

He continued by saying, “Second reason is the climatic and atmospheric impact. Earlier we had estimated that there will be output of around 0.9-1.0 million bales in Gujarat, but cotton arrivals in the market are very slow, so production is not expected to be more than 0.5 million bales in Gujarat.

“This scarcity will benefit short-staple cotton growers who will get better prices as in the previous season, the price difference between short staple and long staple cotton was about Rs 14,000-16,000 per candy whereas normally the difference should be Rs 4,000-6,000 only.

“This year, we expect the difference will again be around Rs. 4,000-5,000 per candy. So from that point of view, cotton growers will be benefited. I would suggest that farmers stick to growing the short-staple variety in future too”.

Providing more details, Mr Sharma informed, “Consumption of this type of cotton is about 1.0-1.2 million bales. But a few textile units producing denim fabric use an alternative cotton variety, although the properties of strength may not be available from this variety.

Prices of raw cotton grown in Gujarat per candy (1 candy = 355 kg)

Gujarat - 21 – Rs 27,000 (Short staple)
V-797 - Rs 26,000 (Short staple)
Shankar – 6 - Rs 36,500 (Long staple)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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