The volume of cotton registered for exports is said to have crossed 80 lakh bales, though confirmed data is not available.

CAB estimate

The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB), which met in January this year to estimate the domestic cotton production, consumption and exports, had said that the exportable surplus this year (October 2012 to September 2013) would be 80 lakh bales.

An official source told The Hindu that, by mid-February, export registrations had crossed 70 lakh bales and it was expected to be more than 80 lakh bales now.

Rise in prices

Meanwhile, cotton prices have increased by nearly 10 per cent during the last one month.

The price of Shankar-6 variety of cotton, used widely by the Indian textile industry, was Rs.34,000 a candy (355 kg) one month ago and Rs.37,200 a candy on Wednesday.

Mohit D. Shah, Vice-President of the International Cotton Association, said that Indian exports were mainly to China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Turkey and exports were in line with expectations. Other cotton producing countries such as the U.S., Brazil and Australia have also exported “healthy volumes”. China had started releasing its stock into the market.

Trade and industry sources say that actual shipment was estimated to be over 45 lakh bales and the entire registered quantity was likely to be shipped. Cotton arrivals so far were 260 lakh bales, as against the production estimate of 330 lakh bales for the year. Prices might not remain high for long as the purchase by the domestic textile mills had already slowed down and there might not be shortage in availability.

Procurement

The Southern India Mills Association and the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry have appealed to the Cotton Corporation of India to sell the cotton that it had purchased.

This would help stabilise the cotton prices, they say. An official of the Corporation said that it had procured 22 lakh bales through MSP operations this season. “We are in the process of taking a decision regarding sale of the procured cotton,” the official said.

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