Cotton stocks in India are expected to fall by nearly 31% in 2023/24, reaching their lowest level in more than three decades, due to lower production and rising consumption, a leading industry body said on Thursday.

Lower stockpiles will limit exports from the world's second biggest producer in the current marketing year ending on Sept. 30 and support global prices. It could also lift domestic prices and weigh on the margin of local textile companies.

Cotton stocks at the end of 2023/24 marketing year could fall to 2 million bales (340,000 metric tons), the Cotton Association of India (CAI) said in a statement.

India is likely to produce 30.97 million bales of cotton in the current season, down from the last year's 31.89 million bales, the CAI said.

The country's consumption is expected to rise to 31.70 million bales from the last year's 31.10 million bales.

India cotton exports in the season could rise to 2.20 million bales, from 1.55 million bales a year ago, the CAI said.

India exports cotton mainly to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Vijay Kishore)