Source: The post is based on the article “Union Budget 2023-24: Push for ELS cotton yield to reduce imports” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023
What is the News?
The Budget has proposed to enhance the productivity of extra-long staple (ELS) cotton through public-private partnerships. This is meant to lower the import dependence on a growing cotton variety that is in demand and can produce high-quality yarn.
What is Extra-long staple(ELS) cotton?
ELS denotes a category of cotton fibre with a staple length of between 32-36 mm.
But in India, of the cotton produced, the majority is 26-30 mm. Of this almost 80% is 29 mm, which is considered medium-grade.
In India, of the domestic consumption of around 31 million bales, ELS cotton accounts for just around 1 million. But here too the domestic production of ELS cotton, according to industry players, is 350,000-400,000 bales. This means 600,000 bales need to be imported annually.
Egypt, the US, and Australia are the largest producers of ELS cotton. In India ELS cotton is priced 35-40% more than normal cotton because of its high quality.
It is this import of ELS Cotton that the Budget announcement seeks to cut through boosting domestic production.
Note: A cotton bale is defined as being refined cotton, packaged at a particular size, manageable for use by modern production methods.