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Cotton exports from Gujarat to hit decadal low

Date: 18-04-2019
Subject: Cotton exports from Gujarat to hit decadal low
AHMEDABAD: India’s cotton  exports are estimated to decline to a decadal low in 2018-19 thanks to higher prices of Indian cotton in international market and lower production of the natural fibre within the country. Gujarat  accounts for more than 45% of cotton exports from India.

According the latest estimates by the apex trade body Cotton Association of India (CAI), cotton exports from the country are pegged at 47 lakh bales (one bale weighs 170kg) in 2018-19, which is the lowest since 2009-10. In 2008-09, cotton exports had touched a low of 35 lakh bales.

“The reason for the slowdown in cotton exports is higher prices of Indian cotton, which have firmed up because the production of crop in 2018-19 was low,” said Atul Ganatra, the president of CAI. “The price of Shankar-6 variety of cotton in April touched Rs 46,500 to Rs 47,000 per candy (356 kg), which is higher at least by Rs 5,000 per candy quoted in the same month last year. Our cotton is very costly for international buyers.” Since February, Shankar-6 cotton prices in the international market have shot up to 90-92 cents per pound, while the US cotton is available at 88-89 cents.

“Our exports were good before December 2018 when Shankar-6 cotton prices hovered around 70-71 cents in the export market,” said an Ahmedabad-based exporter. “However, exports continued to decline with the strengthening of Indian cotton’s prices since February. Other countries are offering cotton at a lower price and the quality of their cotton is better.”

Ganatra said: “Another reason is that the required quantity for exports is not available as arrivals have slowed down. The arrivals were at meagre 40,000 bales on Wednesday.” He said yield this year was smaller compared to the previous year’s. “Our crop was 365 lakh bales last year, which is estimated to decline to 321 lakh bales this year,” he said. “This means we are short by 44 lakh bales.”

At 321 lakh bales, cotton production India in 2018-19 is estimated to be the lowest in the past decade.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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