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Heavy rain, pest outbreak curtails India's cotton output - trade body

FILE PHOTO: A worker fills a vacuum pipe with cotton to clean it at a cotton processing unit in Kadi town in the western state of Gujarat, India, February 9, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s cotton production is expected to fall 1.1% from a year ago to 35.6 million bales (6 million tonnes) in 2020/21 despite higher area as excessive rainfall and pink bollworm infestation curtailed yields, a leading trade body said on Monday.

The country’s cotton consumption, which plunged in the previous year due to coronavirus outbreak, is expected to jump by 32% from a year ago to 33 million bales in the new marketing year started on Oct. 1, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) said in a statement.

India is the world’s biggest producer of cotton and a leading supplier to Asian buyers such as China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

The country’s exports in the new year could surge by 20% from a year ago to 6 million bales, the CAI said.

(1 Indian bale = 170 kg)

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, editing by Louise Heavens