Farm workers harvesting cotton in a field near Kamatchipuram in Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu. | Credit: KARTHIKEYAN G
The Cotton Production and Consumption Committee estimates that the current cotton season (October 2021 to September 2022) will close with a stock of 45.46 lakh bales.
At a meeting on Wednesday, the committee estimated total textile mill consumption at 329,000 bales, including 305,000 bales from non-SSI mills, and export at 40,000 bales. Production is expected to be around 340 lakh bales. Demand is expected to be 385 lakh bales against a total supply of 430.46 lakh bales (including opening stock and imports).
Atul S. Ganatra, President of the Cotton Association of India , called With cotton prices soaring, mills are making losses and many in the South have decided to close mills two days a week.
However, Ravi Sam, chairman of the Southern India Mills’ Association, urged the government to reconsider the estimates as consumption by non-SSI mills will be higher at 325 lakh bales. He claimed that when demand is high, factories are operating at full capacity and cannot afford to stop or slow down. Exports are also likely to be higher as more than 26,000 bales have already been shipped this season. “Cotton prices are said to have risen by £3,000 per candy after the committee meeting. Even at this price, the mills aren’t getting any cotton. Farmers have already sold the cotton. Therefore, the government should immediately allow duty-free cotton of about 40 lakh bales,” he said.