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LAHORE: The market remained dull on Saturday. The trading volume remained low. Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that the rate of cotton in Punjab and Sindh is in between Rs 18000 to Rs 21,000 per maund.

He further told that if water will be available to the cotton crop then the crop will be good in the coming season. All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has accused power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) of not giving new connections or enhancing connections of existing units due to which production has reduced by up to 25 per cent.

The Association has made this claim in a letter to the newly appointed Secretary Power, Rashid Mehmood Langrial. The Associations says that it works closely with the Ministry of Energy to ensure that its member mills have access to consistent and reliable energy.

In this regard, APTMA has provided weekly updates to the Power Division regarding the issues in continuity of power supply to the industry and also those relating to non-conformity of laid-down standards.

The previously provided information from the previous six months noted that APTMA members units are continuously facing issues and that both interruptions and substandard supplies prevail resulting in the industry’s use of alternate fuels for production at a significant cost.

According to the letter, a closer look at the scenario indicates that the industry is frequently faced with wrongly timed maintenance shutdowns, emergency shutdowns, malfunctions, tripping, and bouts of supply dips and spikes.

“The unfortunate part is that despite direct engagement from the Power Division, APTMA has not been given confidence in the corrective measures implemented by any of the concerned DISCOs. “This circumstance brings us to the regrettable conclusion that, in all likelihood, the DISCOs were unable to do anything to ensure continuous and standard supply to the industry,” the Association continued.

APTMA further maintained that any interruption (even if it is shorter than one minute) or dip/ spike results in inflated disruption(s) in industrial activities, ranging from 10 to 20 minutes - all of which have a negative monetary worth of thousands of rupees for each mill.

The power companies are obliged to provide standard supply to the industry but no steps are taken to fix their problems, it said.

“At the same time, APTMA is not informed of any challenges that the DISCOs are experiencing, which could indicate that the situation is beyond the DISCOs’ capabilities or that the subject is not being given the attention that it deserves,” the Association maintained.

NEPRA previously allowed industrial consumers to increase their load capacity from 5 MW to 7.5 MW. It was interpreted by industry and later clarified by NEPRA (vide letter NEPRA/DG(CAD)/TCD-10/4012-24) that all such customers will be obliged to pay the proportionate cost of grid, including transmission line charges, as well as, the complete cost of land proportionate to the load. However, DISCOs misinterpreted NEPRA’s decision and charged industrial consumers in full. There are presently 108 load extension cases pending with DISCOs.

Despite NEPRA’S clarification, no demand notice has been revised. This prolonged delay caused by procedural issues is incomprehensible. Due to the lack of gas in the country many industrial units seek to switch to electricity; however, delays from DISCOS are reducing production capacity by 20 to 25 percent, resulting in significant loss to Pakistan’s exports/ economy.

APTMA requested Power Division to call a meeting with the DISCOs to map out a strategy for addressing its concerns including the delay in new and enhanced connections.—

ICE cotton futures slipped on Friday en route to a second consecutive week dip as concerns over Chinese demand and the dollar’s ascent offset worries over the hit to supply from dry conditions in key growing areas.

Cotton contracts for July fell 1.24 cent, or 0.85%, at 144.29 cents per lb, at 12:11 p.m. ET (1611 GMT). Prices traded within a range of 143.55 and 146.62 cents a lb.

The contract was down 1.6% so far this week.

Driving some of the declines, the dollar hovered near a peak since 2002 and was bound for a sixth straight weekly gain, dimming appetite for the natural fiber, especially among overseas buyers.

Also, COVID restrictions remained in China, one of the top consumers of US cotton.

“The backups happening within their supply chain have only worsened If or when the situation is resolved, things might move a little bit more (with regard to) the logistics, which will help the market, but for now, it does add a little bit of pressure,” said Bailey Thomen, cotton risk management associate at StoneX Group.

The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 21000 per maund. Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 292 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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