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Cotton Harvest in India May Rebound to Record on Higher Planting

Cotton production in India, the world’s second-biggest exporter, will climb to a record as above-average monsoon rainfall increased planting, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.

“The growing areas have received very good rains,” Pawar said in an interview yesterday. “Excessive rains in some areas will not impact the total output. Production should reach a record.” The harvest was the highest ever at 35.2 million bales of 170 kilograms each in 2011-2012, according to Agriculture Ministry data. Production was 34 million bales in 2012-2013.

A larger crop in India may curb an 18 percent rally in New York futures this year. The country had the best start to the monsoon since 1994, with rainfall 15 percent above a 50-year average, according to the India Meteorological Department. That boosted seeding of crops from rice to cotton and sugar cane.

Damage to the cotton crop from excess rain is limited, Pawar said. Planting increased to 10.9 million hectares (26.9 million acres) as of Aug. 2 from 10.1 million hectares a year earlier, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

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