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Scanty rains continue to mar India's cotton prospects
Aug '12
The continuation of weak monsoon is likely to further mar the prospects of India’s cotton production during the new season that begins from October 1.
The official Indian meteorologists last week declared that for the first time since 2009, the country would receive deficient, i.e. less than 90 percent of normal rains.
Because of the dry conditions, the area under cotton plantation is now expected to reduce to 10.6 million hectares, which is lower than the Indian Government’s estimated forecast of 11.5 million hectares. 
States like Punjab, because of the availability of proper irrigation facilities, have managed to water cotton crop up to some extent. But Gujarat, one of the country’s largest cotton producers, has experienced a dip of over 50 percent in cotton sowing due to the scarcity of rains.
Experts predict that farmers might switch to growing of other crops, if the rains do not fall soon.
The dip in cotton sowings, and the accompanying yield losses, is likely to lead to an overall fall in cotton production to 23.4 million 480-pound bales, which is the lowest output since 2008-09, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The export volumes are expected to be around 4.2 million 480-pound bales, which is the poorest in the last four years and less by nearly 68 percent year-on-year.
The decline in cotton prices during last year would also, to an extent, contribute to fall in production of the fibre, analysts say.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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