September 23, 2019 / 2:27 PM / 2 months ago

India's cotton output could jump 20% to five-year high, says official

An employee works at a cotton processing unit in Kadi town, Gujarat, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

JALGAON, India (Reuters) - India’s cotton production in 2019/20 is likely to jump as much as 20% from a year ago to the highest level in five years due to a bigger cultivated area and a boost to yields from above-average monsoon rains, a senior industry official told Reuters.

Higher production by the world’s biggest producer could put pressure on local prices and force New Delhi to buy the crop from farmers at a mandated price.

The South Asian country could produce 37.5 million cotton bales in 2019/20 marketing year starting from Oct. 1 compared to 31.2 million bales a year ago, Pradeep Jain, president of Khandesh Ginning and Pressing Factory Owners and Traders Association told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

“Yields are likely to be much higher due to good rainfall,” he said.

(1 Indian bale = 170 kg)

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Edmund Blair

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