A group of cotton ginners from Maharashtra will visit Singapore to explore possible deals for Indian cotton. A 15-member delegation of the the Khandesh Gin/Press Factory Owners Association has planned to tap a couple of the world’s largest agri-commodities companies located out of Singapore.“A delegation has planned to visit Louis Dreyfus Company and Olam International, which are among the biggest companies globally and among the largest buyers of agricultural commodities. This is an exploratory visit to check out what kind of parameters would Indian cotton would need so that such large buyers become interested in Indian cotton,” Pradeep Jain, president of the Association told FE.
The Association has not only planned presentations on cotton from India but has also scheduled one-on-one meetings and discussions with the Asia heads of these companies. “We also plan to invite Asian heads of these companies to India so that they can see the quality of Indian cotton for themselves,” he said. Earlier, the association members have held meetings to discuss cotton trade and cotton samples of the region were displayed to potential buyers in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam. According to Jain, members of the association had also visited China a few years ago to study the requirement for cotton in that country.
A team visited Chinese buyers, traders, ginners and warehouses and provided samples of their cotton which was tested by Chinese experts. This was followed by a visit to the Jalgaon region by Chinese traders and ginners as well as their visits to Indian farms. China has been the biggest importer of cotton from India until now. Louis Dreyfus Company ( LDC) is active in the domestic trade of corn, sugar, wheat and cotton in China, grains in Australia and cotton, grains, oilseeds and sugar in India. The company’s distribution and import activities in the region include grains, sugar, oilseeds and cotton. It exports grains from Australia to destinations including Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Olam International is a leading agri-business firm operating from seed to shelf in 70 countries, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 23,000 customers worldwide.
The association members have also been involved in a mentoring effort to improve productivity of cotton after they discovered that cotton from Gujarat commanded a higher price. What began as an effort to mentor some 40 farmers in 10 talukas of Jalgaon district resulted in 50-70% improvement in productivity. Traders across the country are reported to have struck deals for over 3 lakh bales of new cotton crop in the last few days in a price range of Rs 37,000-Rs 39,500 a candy. According to senior members of the Ginners Association, the deals should be ready for delivery in September to December time frame. Most of the contracts have been struck with buyers in China, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The country’s cotton production in 2017-18 (Oct-Sep) is likely to be 375 lakh bales, up 12% from the current season. In the current year, cotton exports from the country are likely to touch 63 lakh bales, lower from 72 lakh bales in 2016-17.