India’s cotton exports decline by 55% in 2008-09 season

India’s cotton exports decline by 55% in 2008-09 season

New Delhi: India’s cotton exports in 2008-09 season, which ends today, are estimated to have plummeted by a whopping 55% to about 38 lakh bales due to higher prices in the domestic market.

“According to provisional data, cotton exports stand at about 38 lakh bales for 2008-09," a senior government official said. The country had exported 85 lakh bales in 2007-08 season, which runs from October to September.

The Cotton Advisory Board, headed by the textile commissioner, in October 2008 had estimated cotton export to be at 75 lakh bales during 2008-09. However, the estimate was later downsized to 50 lakh bales considering poor demand in the overseas market.

Trade experts blamed high domestic prices following a sharp increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) the main reason for poor export.

Last year, the government had raised the MSP of long staple cotton to Rs3,000 per quintal from Rs2,030 and the medium staple to Rs2,500 from Rs1,800 a quintal. The MSP has not been hiked for the 2009-10 season.

Now that the exports have dipped sharply, the country is left with over 71 lakh bales of carry-over stock for 2009-10 season. The total cotton production in 2008-09 was about 290 lakh bales.