Around 30 lakh bales of cotton have been exported from India so far as against a target of some 50 to 60 lakh bales this season. Some orders have been cancelled and some shipments postponed. This season, farmers have been delaying cotton sales in the hope of a further price hike. The move to scrap high-value currency notes disrupted trading in a cash-oriented market.
Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Vietnam are key buyers of Indian cotton. This season China has not been an aggressive buyer and purchased most of its cotton from the US. Most shipments from India have gone to Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan and Vietnam. Pakistan has purchased some 20 lakh bales, Bangladesh has purchased around 10 to 12 lakh bales, China some 15 to 20 lakh bales. About five to six lakh bales have reached other markets.
Most contracts were signed when prices were around Rs 38,000 a candy, as a result of which the country is likely to lose out on forex, since current international prices are in the range of Rs 42,000 a candy. Raw cotton supplies usually peak in India between December and February, pushing down prices.
The country is expected to meet export targets this season.