MUMBAI - India is likely to produce 33.5 million bales of cotton in the 2018/19 season that started on Oct. 1, down 1.5 percent from an earlier estimate, a leading trade body said on Monday.
The world's biggest cotton producer had harvested 36.5 million bales in the previous season.
"Farmers have uprooted cotton plants on about 70 to 80 percent area due to moisture deficiency and now there is no scope for third and fourth picking," Atul Ganatra, president of the Cotton Association of India, told Reuters.
The drop in output is likely to lead to lower cotton shipments from India, allowing rivals such as the United States, Brazil and Australia to increase cargoes to key Asian buyers such as China and Pakistan. It may also support global prices that corrected more than 8 percent in 2018.
Trade bodies are consistently reducing cotton production estimates for the current season due to scanty rainfall and pest attack curtailed per-hectare yields.
(1 Indian bale = 170 kg)