A survey by India’s Cogencis News Agency shows that India’s cotton planting area in 2020/21 is 12.4 million hectares, a year-on-year decrease of 2%. According to the Indian government data, the cotton area in 2019/20 was 12.8 million hectares, while the Cotton Advisory Board of India (CAB) cotton area was 12.6 million hectares.
In Cogencies’ poll, most respondents said that the recent sharp drop in cotton prices may affect cotton planting area in the next season. Adequate stocks in the market may also prevent farmers from sowing cotton as national lockdowns hit the textile industry hard, affecting demand for the fibre, the company said.
India’s National Collateral Management Services Ltd. expects India’s cotton area to remain stable or slightly lower this year, down by up to 5%, as farmers get good returns on most of their products, up to the sale of cotton stocks. difficulty. Experts predict that India’s cotton output in 2019/20 will be 36-37 million bales (1 bale = 170 kilograms), of which about 15-20% of the inventory is still in the hands of cotton farmers. The head of Cotton Guru Group said that as cotton stocks still account for more than 15% of production and demand is seriously insufficient, purchasing units and ginners have slowed down their purchases due to sharp price depreciation and prolonged blockade.
Indian industry experts said cotton may be switched to other crops this year, especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat, due to lower cotton prices. Farmers in Maharashtra may switch to short-term crops such as soybeans and pulses, and cotton in Gujarat may switch to more profitable groundnuts, but the shift may not be obvious. The area of Telangana is expected to be similar or slightly lower than last year.
Gujarat is the largest producer of cotton, followed by Maharashtra and Telangana. Gujarat and Maharashtra together account for about 50-55% of India’s total cotton production.
On the other hand, some interviewees believe that although the epidemic is still ongoing, normal monsoon rains are expected, MSP price increases, CCI acquisitions, etc. may still encourage farmers to expand cotton planting areas. The South India Textile Mills Association said MSP prices are attractive and may lead to a slight increase in area. Also, due to labor issues, farmers may switch from rice to cotton as less labor is required during sowing.
Currently, cotton sowing has begun in some states in northern India. Farmers have switched from rice to other crops, mainly cotton, due to labor shortages on the one hand and higher returns on the other. However, increases in the north only barely offset declines elsewhere. Typically, cotton sowing in India begins in late April in irrigated areas of northern India and in June in rain-fed cotton areas that rely on monsoon rains. </p