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India cotton output seen rising 12% on bigger crop area, says trade body

MUMBAI, Oct 18 (Reuters) - India is likely to produce 34.4 million bales of cotton in the 2022/23 season that started on Oct. 1, up 12% from a year ago after farmers expanded the crop area, a trade body said on Tuesday.

The rise in output in the world's biggest producer of cotton could weigh on global prices that have corrected sharply after rising earlier this year to their highest in a decade.

The cotton crop area has increased by around 10% and per-hectare yields are also likely to rise this year, Atul Ganatra, president of the Cotton Association of India (CAI), told an industry conference.

India started the new season with carry forward stocks of 3.19 million bales, down from last year's 7.18 million bales, he said.

The country's cotton consumption, which was affected by lower stocks and higher prices, could improve to 32 million bales in the new season from 31.8 million bales a year ago, he added. Exports could fall to 3.5 million bales in the new season from 4.3 million bales a year ago.

(1 Indian bale = 170 kg) (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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