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KARACHI: The local cotton market on Thursday remained sluggish. Market sources told that trading volume remained very low because textile sector is not taking interest in buying of cotton amid increasing threats of lock down during the third wave of coronavirus.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told Business Recorder ICE cotton futures fell by over 1% on Wednesday, tracking a retreat in core grains markets from multi-year highs, with focus turning to a weekly export sales report.

Cotton contracts for July were down 1.34 cents, or 1.5%, to 90.08 cents per lb by 12:22 EDT (1622 GMT). Prices touched their highest since March 1 on Tuesday.

“US corn, soybeans, and wheat had a huge correction yesterday and into last night,” and said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Georgia.

Further, unexpected deliveries received against the May cotton contract amid the current perceived strength in demand was a negative, Brown added.

Prices of key grains fell on Wednesday, retreating from eight-year highs struck a day earlier as the market assessed the extent of weather risks that had fanned the recent run-up in prices.

They had already ended lower on Tuesday as the rally lost momentum following the intraday peaks. Market participants await a weekly export sales report from the US Department of Agriculture on Thursday. “As long as we do 100,000 bales, we’re going to be in good shape,” Brown said.

Vice President Pakistan Central Cotton Committee Dr Muhammad Ali Talpur in its statement said that government has started considering fixing of support price of cotton and farmer will very soon listen good news regarding this. He also said that recently announced package of Rs 10 billion by the government for cotton farmers will be beneficial for the revival of cotton crop in the country.

Pakistan Cotton Ginners Forum Chairman’s Dr Jassu Mal’s Cotton Task Force along with Colonel Baqir (progressive farmer), agriculture department team of Lodhran and team of Agriculture Development Bank Lodhran hold awareness seminar for the farmers regarding increase in the production of cotton. Cotton crop will be cultivated on four thousand acres.

Meanwhile, India’s second wave may drag down new cotton crop planting. The second wave of coronavirus pandemic spreads in India and the major cotton producing areas are also affected. The high infection rate may directly limit the number of people engaged in cotton-related work in the future, and the expansion of the lock-down may affect the supply of materials, such as seed, pesticides, fertilizers and fuels. Under the condition, Indian cotton planting areas and progress may be dragged down this year.

Malik Talat Sohail, Convener of the Regional Standing Committee on Cotton and Textiles of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, (FPCCI) lauded the issuance of Kisan Card and appreciated the Prime Minister’s announcement of Rs.1000 per sack subsidy on DAP fertilizer during his maiden visit to Multan.

Talat Sohail said that the Prime Minister had disappointed us by not announcing any relief package for cotton. He said that multinational foreign exchange depended on white gold cotton which was also ignored in the Prime Minister’s Rs 300 billion agricultural package. Now, even on the occasion of the Prime Minister’s visit to Multan, there were hopes from Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding a package to increase cotton production, which were not fulfilled. Once again the policy of increasing cotton production was ignored which is a gross excess and it is beyond comprehension to ignore the crop which is essential for the development of the country, he added.

He said that Provincial Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi was the only minister who mentioned the importance of cotton in the Prime Minister’s ceremony in Multan. We are deeply grateful to him. He further said that Pakistan which used to export its cotton to the world and has become one of the top cotton importing countries in the world which is causing loss of valuable foreign exchange. It is important for the government to realize that an increase in cotton production alone can reduce the country’s debt and create countless jobs at the local level. Malik Sohail once again demanded that the subsidy price of cotton be fixed at Rs 5,000 per quintal immediately so as to create an atmosphere of confidence among the cotton growers. The spot rate remained unchanged at Rs 11300 per maund. The Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 200 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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