Cotton consumption has picked up on higher market arrivals and increase in demand from textile mills. In the first four months of the cotton season 2023-24 starting October, consumption till January end was estimated at 110 lakh bales of 170 kg each, up by around 19 per cent over 92.50 lakh bales a year ago.

In the October-December quarter, the consumption was 81 lakh bales compared with 65 lakh bales a year ago, an increase of almost 20 per cent. “In the first quarter last year, mills were losing money. This year they are making small profits and so are running at full speed,” Atul S Ganatra, President, Cotton Association of India (CAI) told businessline.

In North and Central India, mills are running at 100 per cent capacity, while in the South the capacity utilisation is around 75 per cent. The total average running capacity of Indian mills is around 90 per cent this year, Ganatra said.

Retains pressing estimate

CAI has retained the pressing estimate for 2023-24 season starting October at 294.10 lakh bales of 170 kgs each. Total cotton supply till end of January 2024 is estimated at 210.05 lakh bales.

Market arrivals in the current season till January-end stood at 177.15 lakh bales compared with 115.70 lakh bales a year ago, according to CAI. Imports during this period were lower at 4.00 lakh bales against 5.8 lakh bales. The opening stock has been estimated by CAI at 28.90 lakh bales.

. Exports till January-end are estimated to be 9 lakh bales, double that of 4 lakh bales a year ago.

Supply same as last season

Stocks at January end are estimated at 91.05 lakh bales of 170 kg each. This includes 41 lakh bales with textile mills, equivalent to about 48 days consumption and the remaining 50.05 lakh bales with Cotton Corporation of India, Maharashtra Federation and others (MNCs, traders, ginners, etc), CAI said

The association has retained its total cotton supply till end of the cotton season 2023-24 at the same level as estimated previously at 345 lakh bales. This includes opening stocks of 28.90 lakh bales, pressing numbers estimated at 294.1 lakh bales and imports for the season at 22 lakh bales. Cotton imports are expected to be higher by 9.5 lakh bales compared with 12.5 lakh bales a year ago.

For the 2023-24 season, CAI sees domestic consumption at 311 lakh bales, unchanged from last year. Exports for the 2023-24 season are pegged at 14 lakh bales against 15.50 lakh bales and the closing stocks at the end of September 2024 are estimated to be 20 lakh bales against 28.9 lakh bales the previous season.