Groundnut, cotton exports from Gujarat to China face uncertainty

The outbreak of coronavirus may hamper exports of groundnut seeds and cotton from Gujarat to China and some of the traders who have already exported these commodities are eagerly awaiting for payments as markets in the neighbouring country are closed.

Since mid January till February 8, Chinese markets are almost closed due to Chinese Lunar Year holidays. But due to coronavirus scare the holidays may be extended till the situation comes under control, says an exporter who is awaiting for payments for his cotton consignments exported to China.

Due to uncertainty over the new export orders, prices of cotton in local markets have gone down from Rs 41,000 to Rs 39,000 per candy (355.5 kg). Even prices of yarn have gone down from Rs 208 to Rs 204 per kg.

Prices of groundnut seeds have fallen by Rs 1,000 per tonne to Rs 67,000. However, the prices have started consolidating due to fresh queries from Chinese traders. Recently, some of the traders received payments from Chinese importers which has boosted confidence of local traders, but many are still awaiting for Chinese markets to open.

“Due to the marriage season, income from groundnuts has slowed down, but in 10-15 days again, farmers would sell large quantity of groundnuts in local APMCs which would create pressure on the prices of groundnut seed if Chinese import will not start again,” according to traders.

This year, bumper crops of groundnut and cotton are being estimated in the state and if exports would does not pick up, there would be negative impact on the prices of these commodities.

As against last year’s yield of 18 lakh tonnes in Gujarat, more than 32 lakh tonnes of groundnut yield is being estimated this season. In case of cotton, against last season’s 90 lakh bales (170 kg each bale), more than 100 lakh bales are expected this year.

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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