Cotton Market Update

An Expert's View about Cotton in India

Posted on: 14 Aug 2012

With concerns persisting about the late arrival of the Indian, 2012/13 area planted to cotton is expected to drop 200,000 hectares to 10.6 million hectares.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 7/31/2012 GAIN Report Number: IN2103 India Post: New Delhi Cotton Market Update Report Categories: Agricultural Situation Agriculture in the Economy Cotton and Products Trade Policy Monitoring Approved By: David Williams Prepared By: Dhruv Sood Report Highlights: With concerns persisting about the late arrival of the Indian, 2012/13 area planted to cotton is expected to drop 200,000 hectares to 10.6 million hectares, significantly lower than the record 12.2 million hectares that were planted in 2011/12. If rains do not improve during August, area could drop further. 2012/13 production is forecast at 30.0 million 170 kg bales, down 700,000 bales from the current USDA estimate. Indian cotton continues to trade at a premium to the international market, prompting mills to increase their imports of cotton and exporters to sell stocks in the domestic market. Strong spinning margins are leading to robust mill consumption. 2012/13 exports are forecast 600,000 170 kg bales lower at 5.4 million 170 kg bales due to lower production prospects. General Information: Area and Production Forecast Lower According to official reports, cotton sowing had reached 8.3 million hectares across India as of July 20, 2012. The pace is 700,000 hectares slower than the year-ago pace when Indian farmers planted a record 12.2 million hectares. The Government of India is currently projecting planted area of 11.5 million hectares, significantly higher than the current USDA estimate of 10.8 million hectares. Within India, two-thirds of cotton is produced in the central cotton growing zone in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha where much of the crop is rain-fed. The northern zone, which consists of the states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, produces cotton under irrigated conditions and accounts for about 15 percent of production. In the south, the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu account for 20 percent of production. Trade and official sources indicate that farmers in Gujarat and Maharashtra (India’s largest cotton producing states) could still increase area if rains materialize in August, but yields will likely be affected due to late planting. Recent field travel to Gujarat indicates that cotton area is down by over 50 percent due to dry conditions. Farmers are shifting to guar and are waiting to see if rains materialize in early August before deciding to plant castor, cotton or more guar. A significant shift to groundnuts is not expected because the crop requires relatively significant levels of water. While August rains could spur farmers to plant more cotton, persistent dry conditions at this late stage suggest that planted area will drop further and 2012/13 area is now estimated 200,000 hectares lower at 10.6 million hectares based on lower estimated area in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Yields are also expected to drop further to 480 kg per hectare, lowering production to 30 million 170 kg bales (23.4 million 480 bales), down 700,000 170 kg bales (547,000 480 lb bales) from the current USDA estimate. Monsoon Weather Update Rains had been 30 percent below average from June 1 to July 4 and now that deficit has narrowed to 22 percent below average as of July 18, 2012. Dry conditions persist in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat and certain areas of Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the only states among the cotton growing belt that have received normal rainfall. The Northern belt consisting of Punjab and Haryana have largely remained unaffected by rainfall as most of the land is irrigated and less dependent of rainfalls. For the latest monsoon report refer to IN2099. Exports and Imports The estimate of 2011/12 (August/July) exports is unchanged at 12.68 million 170 kg bales (9.9 million 480 lb bales) as Indian cotton continued to trade at a premium to the international market during July, see Table 1 for more detail. Exporters have started to sell their stocks of cotton in the domestic market where prices are higher than the international market, a development that points to limited exports during the balance of the local (October/September) marketing year. 2012/13 exports are now forecast at 5.4 million 170 kg bales (4.2 million 480 lb bales) based on lower production prospects. The Government of India has not announced any changes to the current export policy. Textile mills are reportedly importing larger volumes of cotton and imports are expected to continue during the first two months of the 2012/13 (August/July) marketing year, lending support to the current USDA import forecast of 1.0 million 480 lb bales. Consumption Mill consumption continues to remain strong, especially in Tamil Nadu. There is a high demand of cotton yarn from China. With relatively high spinning margins coupled with a better power situation, the consumption levels seem to be improving domestically. Consumption during June and July is now estimates at 2.15 million bales, bringing estimated 2011/12 consumption to 26.2 million 170 kg bales. Mills have reportedly increased their stock levels and are holding an average of 45 days of raw cotton as a buffer stock. On July 21, 2012, the textile industry got some good news when the government announced that the “Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme” known as TUFS would be extended for the 12th five year plan (2012-17). The scheme provides a range of incentives and subsidies to the industry and should help to ease some of the persistent fiscal burden from 2010/11 losses. Image 1: Rainfall (mm) for the period June 1, 2012 to July 18, 2012 Table 1: Indian Cotton Prices Compared to International Prices (cents\lb) India ICE Futures Nearby Difference Cotlook A Index Difference Ex-Gin* ICE vs. Cotlook Ex-Gin* vs. Ex-Gin* January 20 89 99 +10 102 +13 January 27 87 96 +9 101 +14 February 3 86 96 +10 102 +16 February 10 86 90 +4 100 +14 February 17 85 92 +7 101 +16 February 24 83 90 +7 98 +15 March 2 83 88 +5 99 +16 March 9 77 89 +8 98 +21 March 16 80 90 +10 100 +20 March 23 79 90 +11 99 +20 March 30 82 94 +12 103 +21 April 6 83 89 +6 100 +17 April 13 80 92 +12 100 +20 April 20 80 90 +10 100 +20 April 27 80 89 +9 101 +21 May 4 83 87 +4 98 +15 May 11 84 79 -5 90 +6 May 18 80 78 -2 85 +5 May 25 75 74 -1 83 +8 June 1 77 69 -8 82 +5 June 8 74 73 -1 84 +10 June 15 76 78 +2 83 +7 June 22 78 74 -4 80 +2 June 29 80 71 -9 81 +1 July 6 82 71 -11 83 +1 July 13 83 73 -10 83 0 July 20 90 73 -17 85 -5 July 27 89 71 -18 83 -6 *Indian ex-gin prices are from the Cotton Association of India. Table 2: Indian Spinning Margins (cents\lb) India Cotton India Spinning Margin Ex-Gin* 40s Warp Yarn** January 20 89 159 70 January 27 87 159 72 February 3 86 164 78 February 10 86 164 78 February 17 85 164 79 February 24 83 164 81 March 2 83 164 81 March 9 77 164 87 March 16 80 161 81 March 23 79 161 82 March 30 82 161 79 April 6 83 161 78 April 13 80 161 81 April 20 80 161 81 April 27 80 161 81 May 4 83 161 78 May 11 84 169 85 May 18 80 169 89 May 25 75 169 94 June 1 77 166 89 June 8 74 166 92 June 15 76 164 88 June 22 78 164 86 June 29 79 166 87 July 6 82 169 87 July 13 83 169 86 July 20 89 173 84 July 27 89 181 92 *Source: Cotton Association of India **Source: Local industry Table 3: Monthly Cotton Consumption by the Textile Sector (million 170 kg bales) 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 Aug 1.859 2.173 1.806 Sep 1.829 2.143 2.167 Oct 1.812 2.209 1.768 Nov 1.847 2.110 1.817 Dec 1.949 2.257 2.007 Jan 1.954 2.210 2.039 Feb 1.881 2.023 2.026 Mar 2.001 2.176 2.028 Apr 2.053 2.017 2.022 May 2.093 1.864 2.138 Jun 2.071 1.823 2.150 Jul 2.211 1.898 2.150 Total 23.56 24.90 24.20 1. 2011/12 Figures in red (Jun-Jul) reflect FAS Mumbai estimates. 2. Does not include annual loss estimates of 2.2, 2.0 and 2.0 million bales respectively. List of documents highlighting the cotton sowing progress: Ministry of Agriculture Press Release June 29, 2012 Ministry of Agriculture Press Release July 3, 2012 Ministry of Agriculture Press Release July 6, 2012 Ministry of Agriculture Press Release July 13, 2012 Ministry of Agriculture Press Release July 17, 2012 Ministry of Agriculture Press Release July 20, 2012 Ministry of Earth Science Press Release July 20, 2012 Ministry of Commerce & Industry July 21, 2012
Posted: 14 August 2012

See more from Cotton in India

Expert Views    
Cotton and Products Annual   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Cotton Market Update   By Foreign Agricultural Service
India Modifies Cotton Export Ban   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Cotton Market Update   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Latest News    
India Bans Cotton Exports   By Foreign Agricultural Service