India’s average per-hectare yield has almost doubled to 560 kilograms since it allowed farmers to use modified seeds for the first time in 2002. Sowed gene-altered seeds across two- thirds of the 9.6 million hectares (23.7 million acres) planted to cotton this year, up from 50 percent a year earlier. Higher output and improved fiber quality may boost India’s exports next season as Chinese mills turn to the South Asian nation to bridge a decline in raw material from the U.S., the world’s biggest supplier. Exports are more profitable for traders than selling to Indian mills, rising Chinese demand and lower U.S. production is pushing up exports. Prices may stabilize around 70 cents a pound for the rest of the year. Cotton reached 92.86 cents a pound on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange on March 5, the highest for a most-active contract since September 1995. The December contract fell 1.33 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at 72.83 cents a pound yesterday. India’s exports may total 8.5 million bales in the year ending Sept. 30, up 47 percent from a year earlier, according to the nation’s Cotton Advisory Board China will increase cotton imports 37 percent in the marketing year starting August 1 as demand rises and production slips, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said May 28. Imports will rise to 3.7 million tons, or 17 million bales, from an estimated 2.7 million tons this year, according to a report from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The U.S. will produce 14.5 million bales in the year starting August , down from 19.2 million in the current year, the USDA forecast May 9. A bale in the U.S. weighs 480 pounds (218 kilograms).Source: