India Set for Record Cotton Harvest

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Oct. 22 – Indian exports of cotton next year are expected to reach some 6.5million bales as the country’s cotton farmers celebrate a better than expected harvest.

This is a huge increase over exports this year, which are expected to come in at 3.2 million bales (170 kilograms of cotton per bale). This comes at a time when there is a global shortfall in cotton and prices have been rising.

India’s total cotton growth this year is expected to hit 31.2 million bales, despite a weak monsoon and a 15 percent shortfall in rains. Due to price increases, the planted area set aside for cotton is also expected to increase, to some 24.7 million acres, or about 100,000 square kilometers, an area larger than the entire size of Ireland.

Cotton consumption is expected to rise in 2010 due to increased consumer demand as the global economy picks up, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Cotton Advisory Committee. India is also fast becoming a destination of choice for fabric and garment purchasing, with Indian cotton yarn production costs now lower than the other major producers China, by some 75 cents a kilo, and the United States by 68 cents a kilo. Indian woven fabrics too are gaining a competitive edge on China, with an 18 percent gap between Indian per meter costs of 62 cents against Chinese at 74 cents.