Cotton exports hit Thailand’s ‘no contamination’ hurdle

Cotton exports to Thailand have hit a ‘no contamination’ roadblock.

One of the biggest mills in Thailand had expressed interest in purchasing cotton from India and samples had been approved. However, the demand for a ‘no contamination’ certificate emerged later.

According to top officials of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), it will be difficult for the organisation to ensure zero contamination.

BK Mishra, CMD, CCI, said that they may not be in a position to give guarantees on contamination levels since the cotton has been procured from several farmers at various points during the season.

After Bangladesh, India has been attempting to sell cotton to Thailand, which consumes 5-6 lakh bales of the fibre.

CCI started the procurement operation from October 2014 and purchased around 87 lakh bales of cotton from farmers in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.

So far, Bangladesh has emerged as the only buyer with India selling around 60,000 bales of cotton to the country so far. China, the world’s biggest buyer, has imported less fibre this year which has affected Indian exports. China has been the largest importer of Indian cotton over the last three years.

CCI has sold around 52 lakh bales with stocks of around 34 lakh bales remaining with the state-run body. Mishra felt that the output next year may not exceed the current year’s output because of the erratic monsoon and the possibility of pest attacks in some parts of the country.

After fears of an initial drought, officials of Maharashtra’s Agricutlure Department now predict a good cotton crop in Vidarbha region after rains lashed the area recently. Vidarbha is a key cotton growing region in the state.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture ( ASDA), India and China together account for more than 50% of the global cotton production, but in the latter country, production is declining while it is increasing in India. In 2015-16, india is expected to surpass China as the world’s largest producer of cotton for the first time on record with the crop forecast at 29.5 million bales. pushing India’s share of world production to 26.5%. For China, 2015-16 production is forecast to decrease by 10% to 27 million bales, the lowest since 2003-04. It’s share of global production is forecast to to 24% as area continues to trend lower. ‘

According to the Central Institute of Cotton Research, Nagpur, the country is heading towards one of the best yields ever with over 108.67 lakh hectares of sowing completed by August 14. The country is likely to exceed cotton acreage of around 120 lakh hectares, Dr KR Kranthi, director of the institute told FE. There have been drought like conditions in Telangana, Mehboob Nagar and osme parts of western Maharashtra such as Jalna and Jalgaon but these constitute barely 7-8 lakh hectares and otherwise monsoons have been good in the rest of the country, he said. In June, the rainfall has been good and in Gujarat, there has been heavy rain which could affect production but this year there has been early wising and both July and August have been looking good. If it rains in September, this could be one of the best yields ever, he said.

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