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Pink bollworm hurt cotton prospects in India this year

Pink bollworm infestation is affecting cotton production in India this year. In January, Maharashtra and Telangana advised cotton farmers to remove the plants to avoid the further spread of pink bollworm infestation to save the Rabi and subsequent Kharif crops.

While the infestation has been serious in some southern states, proactive measures taken in Gujarat and the northern states after the 2016-17 infestation ensured the issue has been less serious there. The Cotton Association of India (CAI) has lowered its estimate for the ongoing season by eight lakh bales.

Domestic consumption is estimated to be at 320 lakh bales while CAI estimates exports for the season to be 55 lakh bales. The carryover stock at the end of this season on September 30, 2018, is estimated to be 42 lakh bales. CAI estimates cotton arrivals up to January 31, 2018, at 211 lakh bales compared to 157.75 lakh bales during the same period last season.

Around 40 lakh bales of cotton have been exported from the country so far and another 15 or 20 lakh bales are expected to be exported by the end of this season. Exports from India this year have received a fillip thanks to the rupee depreciation.