Representatives of the cotton textile industry led by the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) called on Union Textiles Minister, Dayanidhi Maran on Wednesday and made a fervent appeal to suspend cotton exports on the ground that it will severely affect the competitiveness of Indian textile products in the global market.
Alleging that international cotton traders have already entered into contracts to buy huge quantities of cotton for exports with the help of cheap capital available from global sources, CITI Secretary General, D.K.Nair, said the domestic industry was increasingly faced with the threat of not being able to access quality cotton at reasonable prices.
He said there were already reports that about 20 lakh bales have been booked for exports by international traders and indications were that they would book more quantities, since at the global level too, there is expected to be a significant shortfall in cotton production.
There was, he said, more cause for concern as most of the best quality cotton produced in the country came to the market between November to March.
“If traders are able to corner a significant portion of the [best] cotton for export, domestic industry would be deprived the advantage of our cotton, even while our major competitors like China, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are major importers of the commodity, would benefit.”
He noted that because of purchases by the international traders, cotton prices have already shot up to Rs. 25,000 per candy on spot basis.
The CITI has already written letters to the Prime Minister, Commerce Minister and the Finance Minister highlighting the concerns of the industry and urging that cotton exports be suspended at least upto February end.
“The situation could be reviewed after than when the trends of production and consumption would be clearer and an assessment could be made if any exportable surplus was available,” the letter said.