Cotton production might drop by 10-15 lakh bales: Report

New Delhi: Cotton production might be lower by 10-15 lakh bales than the anticipated level of 390 lakh bales during 2015-16, an industry body said on Sunday.

SIMA Cotton Research and Development Association (CDRA) has attributed the decline to white fly attack in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and inadequate rains in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“Though cotton production during 2015-16 has been anticipated to be at the last level of 390 lakh bales, the actual production might drop by 10 to 15 lakh bales,” it said in a report.

Cotton consumption by mills in 2014-15 stood at 300 lakh bales, 6.15% higher than previous year’s 286 lakh bales.

Cotton export was badly affected during the season and as per trade estimates, it stood at 55 lakh bales in 2014-15 season, as against Cotton Advisory Board estimate of 70 lakh bales, whereas exports in the previous season stood at 118 lakh bales, the report said.

Though the country has been expected to become the largest producer of cotton, surpassing China in 2015-16, the country still faces shortage of ELS cotton and import of the same has been expected to increase.

The MSP prices for 2015-16 season has been increased by Rs 50 per quintal for both medium and long staple cottons. MSP for medium and long staples increased to Rs.3,800 and Rs. 4,100 per quintal.