ACTIVE trading activity is being witnessed in the Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan cotton this season. Around 34,000 bales have arrived across the region in 13 th/14th October with rates touching at Rs 1,900 to Rs 2,200 per quintal (compared to the minimum support price of Rs 1,960 per quintal announced by the government).
The Northern India Cotton Association Ltd (NICA) has reported that the total cotton crop arrivals across the region reached over 5.50 lakh bales (1 bale equals to 170 kg) till October 15 in the market. In Punjab cotton arrivals were at 18, 500 bales, in Haryana 11,000 bales and in Northern Rajasthan (comprising Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh and Bikaner) at 4,500 bales. Total ‘desi’ arrivals were at 2,000 bales on 13 th/14th Oct. The ‘kapas’ (unginned cotton) rates for desi was Rs 1,900-Rs 2,000 per quintal and for other varieties Rs 2,000-Rs 2,200 per quintal. The cottonseed rate was between Rs 1,120 and Rs 1,160 per quintal.
In Punjab, price of J-34 S/Gd was Rs 1,820 to Rs 1,855 per maund (1 Maund=37.324 KG), in Haryana it was 1,790 to Rs 1,830 per maund and in Rajasthan Rs 1,745-Rs 1,790 per maund. The desi variety was being sold at Rs 1,490-Rs 1,500 per maund in Haryana, Rs 1,470 - Rs 1,490 per maund in Rajasthan and in Punjab it was at Rs 1,450-Rs 1,485 per maund.
Major arrivals are in the mandis of Abohar, Mansa, Malout , Budhalada and Gidderbaha, Malout in Punjab and Sirsa, Ellenabad, Fatehabad in Haryana. In Rajasthan major arrivals are in mandis of Sriganganagar, Hanumangargh and Pilibangan.
According to Rakesh Rathi, President NICA, “Today, the rates have gone by Rs 50 per quintal in kapas and Rs 20 per maund in cotton on account of better demand from local as well as up country mills and nominal purchases by exporters. Raw cotton prices went up on account of short covering by ginners and increase in cottonseed prices.”
Mukul Tayal of Hisar-based Tayal Sons Ltd said millers were not happy buying at this price and it was expected that the rate would come down as arrival picked up. He said, “kapas was being sold at Rs 2,150-Rs 2,200 per quintal whereas last year during this very period rates were at Rs 1,650 per quintal,” More than 400 bales is arriving in the Hisar mandi.
In Bathinda mandi arrival from Talwandi Sabo, Dabwali , Gidderbaha was more than 800 bales with price of kapas touching from Rs 2160 per quintal and cottonseed being at Rs 1150 per quintal. “There is demand of cotton seed cake by Rajasthan farmers which has led to an increase in the cotton seed rate. With arrival pressure likely to pick up in next 10 day then we expect a fall in prices,” said district president of Bathinda Arthiya Association Mr Sukhdev Singh Chahal. According to a leading exporter from the region with the dollar not being supportive the exporter had been hit badly and hence he was adopting a wait and watch policy.
For now even though the farmer has been distraught with the low yield due to the large-scale mealy bug attack the traders say there has been a slight change in the quality. “Fibre length is shorter by 1 mm to 1.55 mm compared to previous year and hence spinning value will come down,” said Mr Rathi.