MUMBAI: India's cotton output is expected to rise 9.3 percent in the year that began in October, a government official said on Tuesday, but production is likely to fall almost 6 percent than industry estimates for 40 million bales, each of 170 kg.
Cotton production could touch 37.7 million bales in the year that began in October, up from 34.5 million bales produced in 2016/17, Kavita Gupta, India's textile commissioner, told a news conference.
Cotton shipments from India, the world's biggest exporter after the United States, are expected at 6.7 million bales in the 2017/18 marketing year, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier, she said.
Earlier, industry officials estimated this year's exports at 7.5 million bales.
Pakistan is likely to emerge as a major buyer of Indian cotton, Gupta said.
A 19 percent jump in the area planted with cotton prompted most industry officials to estimate record production of 40 million bales this year. But a recent pink bollworm infestation has threatened to cut output.
Pink bollworm attacks have cut yields in India's main cotton growing regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, Gupta said.
Still, cotton production is likely to be higher than 2016/17, she said.