The Cotton Corporation of India has procured about 32.85 lakh bales (of 170 kg each) of the natural fibre crop at the minimum support price (MSP), so far, in the current 2023-24 marketing season.

“Bulk of the procurement, about 24 lakh bales, has been procured from Telangana, while the rest has been purchased from other States,” said Lalit Kumar Gupta, Chairman Cum Managing Director, CCI.

In Maharashtra, CCI’s cotton procurement was 2.44 lakh bales till March 27, 2024 followed by 1.30 lakh bales in Andhra Pradesh and 1.27 lakh bales in Madhya Pradesh. In Gujarat, CCI’s cotton procurement stood at 0.91 lakh bales, Odisha at 0.95 lakh bales and Karnataka at 0.62 lakh bales. Cotton procurement in Rajasthan stood at 0.52 lakh bales, Haryana at 0.43 lakh bales and Punjab 0.38 lakh bales.

Crop estimate hiked

Gupta said about a tenth of India’s cotton crop for cotton season 2023-24 has been procured by the CCI so far. The Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption (CCPC), an apex body of stakeholders set up by the government comprising cotton textile mills, cotton growers, traders, Central Government officials etc., recently raised the crop production estimates for the current season to 323.11 lakh bales against the earlier estimates of 316.57 lakh bales made in November 2023. The revision is based on the second Advanced estimate of Ministry of Agriculture.

With the open market prices moving above the MSP levels, CCI is not getting cotton in the mandis at MSP any more.

“Our procurement started going down from the first week of February as the domestic prices started rising as a result of rise in prices in international market. Our last procurement was on March 4th, 2024 and now the prices are prevailing about 7-8 per cent above the MSP levels. There is no place our intervention is required and no farmer is offering any cotton at MSP as they are getting better price in the market,” Gupta said.

For the 2023-24 kharif marketing season, the MSP for seed cotton is ₹6,620 a quintal for the medium staple and ₹7,020 for the long staple variety. Raw cotton prices are currently hovering above MSP and ruling between ₹7,500 and ₹7,800 per quintal.

Ready to intervene

The CCI team, Gupta said, is present in the markets across the country and ready for any intervention if required. The daily market arrivals across the country are in the range of 80,000-1,00,000 bales and the consumption from the mills is around 85,000 bales, Gupta said.

Meanwhile, CCI has started selling the Kasturi Cotton Bharat, the certified cotton. “We have already sold about 5,000 bales. There is a good demand as our quality is good, we are getting premium over the market price.” Gupta said.

The Kasturi Cotton Bharat is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Textiles, CCI, Trade Bodies & Industry to work on the principle of self-regulation by owning complete responsibility of Branding, Traceability and Certification of Indian Cotton to enhance its’ competitiveness in the global market and create a sustainable ecosystem for all stakeholders involved.