By Nayan Dave,
With early sown cotton-selling commencing in mandis in cotton-growing states including Gujarat, prices of the fibre in the domestic market have slipped below Rs 90,000 per candy (356 kg per candy) from over Rs1 lakh per candy in a span of a fortnight. Market experts are expecting a further decline in cotton prices in anticipation of higher production of the crop as well as low demand from the textile industry. Over the past 3-4 days cotton was sold in the range of Rs 80,000 to Rs 85000 per candy.
“At present, crop condition across cotton-growing states is excellent and if everything goes well, we are expecting more than 350,00,000 bales (170 kg per bale) production in the upcoming 2022-23 season as against 315,00,000 bales in the current season. If October does not witness severe rains, production may further increase by 25,00,000 bales,” said Atul Ganatra, president of Cotton Association of India (CAI).
Cotton prices are going down internationally, said Ganatra, adding that the arrival of fresh cotton would increase by the beginning of October and there would be a gradual downtrend in the domestic cotton market, too. Till the beginning of September, cotton sowing in India completed 12.6 million hectare against previous year’s 11.7 million hectare.
Avdhesh Sejpal, president of All India Cotton, Cotton Seeds and Cotton Cake Brokers Association, claimed prices of cotton will not go below Rs70,000 per candy in the Indian market even after peak arrival of fresh cotton. Cotton crop in neighbouring Pakistan was damaged due to flood and in the case of the US and China, there would be lower production in wake of unfavourable weather conditions, said Sejpal, adding that due to these reasons, there would be huge export demand of cotton in the next 2-3 months.
Moreover, demand from the textile industry would also increase as the festive season is coming closer, he added. Just a couple of months ago, cotton prices soared as high as Rs1.10 lakh per candy due to overall demand from the textile sector. However, over the past one month prices continuously declined. Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are the major cotton producing states in India apart from Gujarat. Acreage under cotton sowing in Gujarat has increased by almost 0.3 million hectare to 2.55 million hectare compared to last year’s 2.25 million hectares. Gujarat has a lion’s share of around 30 percent in the country’s total cotton production.