Economy

Cotton Prices Keep Farmers Happy

Special Correspondent, BeyondHeadlines

Coimbatore: Farmers cultivating cotton can expect to reap benefits this year. The international cotton prices is about 129.44% higher than that of the prices in 2009.

The price has gone up in India as well. According to the Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), price of cotton in India has doubled in 2011 as compared to 2010. In February 2010, the cost of one quintal of RCH raw cotton was Rs 3,400, while it is now Rs 7,000 per quintal.

This is because of the demand-supply mismatch caused by some countries such as the United States, China, Pakistan , which produces cotton, and recently Australia’s lower stocks, increased consumption and exports.

Tamil Nadu is the largest cotton consumer region in India (Photo Courtesy: www.outlookindia.com)

In India, due to erratic rain and floods in cotton-producing states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Gujarat, the production was low.

The Cotton Advisory Board had earlier estimated the production to be around 32.5 million bales in 2010-11. However, output this year will not be more than 31.2 million bales, according to the Cotton Advisory Board.

India, which is also the world’s second-biggest exporter of cotton, had given permission for exports of 5.5 million bales in 2010. But only 3 million bales were exported due to late arrivals. In January 2011, the cotton price rose alarmingly. As Indian cotton is cheaper than Chinese or the United States cotton, overseas demand for Indian cotton has increased.

In Tamil Nadu, which is the largest consumer region, cotton cultivation increased to 1.30 lakh hectares (2010-11) compared to last year (1.04 lakh hectares). Summer cotton cultivation is exclusive to Tamil Nadu and is sown in Masipattam (Feb-Mar).

To facilitate farmers to take up sowing decisions, NAIP – the Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, analysed cotton prices of Avinashi Cooperative Marketing Society, and revealed that prices of cotton (Long Staple cotton) would be around Rs. 5,500-6,200 per quintal between June and September 2011—during the harvest of the Masipattam crop.

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