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KARACHI: The Spot Rate Committee of the Karachi Cotton Association on Thursday increased the spot rate by Rs 300 per maund and closed it at Rs 12300 per maund.

Market Sources told that local cotton market remained stable. Trading volume remained thin.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told Business Recorder that The summary regarding cotton support price will be presented before Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in next meeting as consultation to set cotton support price has been completed.

Economic consultant Minister of National Food, Security and Vice President Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Dr Muhammad Ali Talpur expressed these views in a statement issued here on Wednesday.

He said that the record production of sugarcane, maize and rice was received this year and the federal government had special focus on enhancement of cotton production now.

Ali Talpur said that the summary had been prepared after consultation with all stakeholders as Federal Minister for National Food, Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam directed the ministry officials about preparation of the cotton support price summary few days ago.

He said that better cotton yield was expected this year and added that all out efforts were being made to achieve 10.5 million cotton bales production target.

He informed that federal government had already offered Rs10 billion to cotton growers in shape of subsidy across the country.

He urged the cotton growers to get their registration completed as soon as possible under subsidy related procedure so that the subsidy amount could be provided to them which would help to reduce their cost of production.

The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) on Wednesday expressed concern that Tarbela reservoir can touch dead level during the next 24 to 48 hours, and provinces may face more shortages than anticipated previously.

The water regulator issued this statement a day after confrontation between Irsa chairman Rao Irshad, who is also Member Punjab, and Member Irsa Sindh, Zahid Junejo, on the opening of the Taunsa Panjnad canal.

This confrontation was witnessed at the political level in Punjab and Sindh with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Sindh chief minister, provincial ministers and Sindh Assembly expressing their reservations over the untoward incident and water shortages whereas Punjab chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar also issued a statement.

Irsa in its statement said that it undertook a review of water situation in the country on May 26, 2021, during which it was noted that water in rivers have further reduced by 18,800 cusecs.

According to the water regulator it is felt that Tarbela reservoir may touch dead level during the next 24 to 48 hours, indicating more shortages.

An Irsa spokesperson said that after reviewing the current situation of water inflows, it can be assumed that water share of provinces may be further curtailed in the days to come.

“It has also been felt that water shortage which was estimated to be 17 per cent during a meeting held on May 24, 2021 may further increase,” he added.

Irsa, the spokesperson said, has intimated about the expected water situation in the country during coming days.

Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi has said that Punjab province is facing 22% water shortage while Sindh is facing 17% water shortage. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) should immediately review this fact and fair distribution of water should be ensured to provinces on the basis of data and facts.

While addressing a press conference along with Provincial Minister for Irrigation Mohsin Leghari and Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Punjab Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, he also highlighted the impact of water scarcity on agricultural production.

He said it is a fact that Sindh gets three times more water than Punjab. He said that farmers of Sindh are our brothers but the leaders of Sindh should refrain from politicizing every issue.

The Minister said: “The TP Link Canal should be opened immediately as the sowing of cotton crop is in progress and 95% of the cotton sowing target has been achieved this year but water supplied to the South Punjab through TP Link Canal has been cut off during this stage and lack of water in the early stages of cotton may lead to reduction in production. Similarly, in Punjab paddy crop is being sown and it is also in danger. It earns more than two billion dollars in foreign exchange every year, so a reduction in its production is likely to hurt the country’s economy”.

He said bumper crop of wheat has been achieved and the target of 20.9 million metric tons of wheat production has been achieved in Punjab as compared to last year which is a record.

Meanwhile, ICE cotton futures edged lower on Wednesday as a recent spell of rain in the top-producing West Texas region improved the outlook for the cotton crop.

Cotton contracts for July fell 0.10 cent, or 0.1% to 82.61 cents per lb by 12:52 p.m. EDT (1652 GMT). It traded within a range of 81.85 and 83.13 cents a lb.

“Cotton has lost its momentum in the last few days, due to the rains in West Texas,” said Peter Egli, director of risk management at British merchant Plexus Cotton, adding that while farmers likely need more rain to continue planting, recent showers have got the crop off to a “decent” start.

Further pressuring the natural fiber was a rebounding dollar which made greenback denominated cotton more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

Market participants now await the US Department of Agriculture’s weekly export sales report due on Thursday.

Plexus Cotton’s Egli noted that US exports remained robust, with competitive prices boosting its appeal, potentially driving prices higher.

Total futures market volume fell by 10,889 to 12,994 lots. Data showed total open interest gained 866 to 222,666 contracts in the previous session.

Certificated cotton stocks deliverable as of May 25 totalled 143,251 480-lb bales, up from 136,192 in the previous session.

The Spot Rate Committee of the Karachi Cotton Association on Thursday increased the spot rate by Rs 300 per maund and closed it at Rs 12300 per maund. The Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 200 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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