Cotton Corporation of India halts procurement as cotton prices move up

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Cotton procurement by state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has almost come to a standstill as prices have firmed up in the open market.

CCI has procured 11.6 lakh bales so far, nearly four times the amount collected during the same period the previous year, top officials said and maintained the cotton body would remain in the market to ensure that prices remain stable.

The minimum support price for medium-staple variety is at Rs 5,150 per quintal and that for long staple at Rs 5,450 per quintal. The government had raised the support price for cotton by 26 per cent this year. Cotton prices in the market are currently in Rs 5,700-Rs 5,800 per quintal and are likely to remain on the higher side, market sources revealed.

Until now, around 67 per cent of the cotton has arrived in the market this season.

The Cotton Association of India (CAI) expects a big drop in the Indian cotton crop figures for this season as there will be no third, fourth or fifth pickings in the country.

CAI has estimated Indian crop size of 328 lakh bales of 170 kg each against an earlier estimation of 330 lakh bales. Last year, crop size was 365 lakh bales which means India will have 37 lakh bales less crop as compared to the previous season.

The current opening stock is 28 lakh bales and arrivals are 213.42 lakh bales till February 28. The import has been around 5.50 lakh bales up to February 28, which means the available crop is 246.92 lakh bales. The consumption has been around 131.66 lakh bales from January 10, 2019, to February 28, 2019.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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