M. Soundariya Preetha

COIMBATORE: Cotton prices are likely to soften in the Indian market with exports of the raw material slowing down, according to K. N. Viswanathan, secretary of the South India Cotton Association.

He told The Hindu here on Monday that the Cotton Advisory Board that met in Mumbai last week had retained its earlier estimate of cotton production in the country for the year 2009-2010 at 295 lakh bales. Exports registered with the office of the textile commissioner so far were about 40 lakh bales. Of this, nearly 30 lakh bales were registered in November. Normally, shipments should be made within 45 days from the date of registration. So far, cotton shipped was only eight lakh bales.

There were also reports that some of the exports registered were sold in the domestic market and that there were no fresh booking of exports. “There are hardly any fresh enquiries,” he said. Hence, the spot market prices for cotton were likely to soften, he said.

The board, at a meeting held in November, estimated exports during 2009-2010 to be 55 lakh bales. With the current trend, the export estimates were likely to be revised, he said.