Seed industry sees tight supply of some branded Bt cotton hybrids this season

Amid predictions that cotton acreage in the upcoming fall season is likely to exceed the yield of the previous year, the Bt cottonseed market is witnessing a lack of supply of branded hybrids, especially in the central and southern regions, where seed production was affected last year due to excessive rains. said the sellers.

Unseasonal rains in April and May this year caused an early start of cotton cultivation in the major producing states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, while cultivation in the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan is almost in the last stages.

“The movement of branded hybrid cottonseeds is going fast and the market feels that there will be some limited supply situations in the central and southern regions,” said M Ramasamy, President, Rasi Seeds. As a result, he added, all carryover stocks will be depleted this year.

Ramasamy said the government in Maharashtra does not allow the sale of cotton seed before June 1.

minimum stock

The market for Bt blended cotton in the country is estimated to be around 4-4.5 crore bales of 450 gms each and the industry usually has a carry-over stock of 1-1.5 crore bales.

“This year the carryover stocks of Bt hybrids from last year were at a minimum level and last year’s seed production was affected by excessive rain,” Ramasamy said.

Despite the recent drop in cotton prices caused by heavy market entrants, seed players expect the fiber crop to maintain farmers’ interest as other competing crops such as corn and soybeans see a downward trend.

“There was good demand for maize last year around this time. Now that it is no longer there and the expectation that soybeans may also decline, cotton may be the preferred crop in the regions of Maharashtra, which borders Madhya Pradesh.

Ram Kaundinia, Director General, Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII), emphasized that there is a limited supply situation in Bt cottonseed.

“Hybrid cotton, especially popular products, is in a tight spot due to increased demand. Production suffered last year due to rains and other factors. Production did not live up to expectations.” He said. Kaundinia estimates that cotton acreage could rise by 8-10 percent this year.

Cotton was grown on 130.49 thousand hectares in the 2022 khareef season, up from 123.72 hectares in the previous year.

Sentiment towards cotton has been good this year, said Satyendar Singh, CEO of Seed Business at Crystal Crop Protection Ltd. “Last year there was a positive sentiment because of the price. This year it is not negative,” he said.

There are no negative feelings

“Prices of competing crops have collapsed dramatically. Cotton still has good yields compared to other crops. There is no negative sentiment, neither from trade nor farmers. In general, the area may remain the same, if not increase.” He said. In Gujarat, planting was before last year, while in parts of Maharashtra, people started planting before June. There is a shortage of branded seeds. In particular, certain hybrids may see a deficiency, Singh said, adding that it is difficult to assess the deficiency.

Mithun Chand, ED, Kaveri Seed Company Ltd, expects cotton acreage to remain flat this year.

“I don’t see much increase in acreage this year compared to the previous year because other crops are doing well,” Chand said on a post-earnings conference call.