Cotton mills explore Colombo storage facility

Colombo calling: The move will bring down transportation time and costs.  

Textile mills in the southern states, especially those in Tamil Nadu, are exploring the possibility of having space at a port yard in Colombo for storage of cotton sourced from different countries so that it can be shipped to the mills here.

A seven-member delegation will visit Sri Lanka in the first week of October at the invitation of the Colombo Port in this regard.

Cotton imports

Chairman of Southern India Mills’ Association M. Senthil Kumar said India is expected to import over 20 lakh bales of cotton this year (October 2015 to September 2016) and the volume could go up during the next cotton season.

International traders now store cotton in Malaysia for supply to buyers in India and other Asian countries.

In an effort to bring down the transportation time and cost, the mills had sought storage facility at Thuthukudi port.

Centre’s approval

“Even as we wait for the Central Government’s approval for the project, as an immediate step we are looking at the possibility in Colombo of a warehousing container detention and demurrage-free storage facility,” he said. Space is required to store about two lakh bales of cotton for 30 days without demurrage charges.

The association will enter into tie-ups with international traders who would use this space, he said.

The advantage of such a facility is that the sellers can supply the cotton to buyers in other neighbouring countries too.

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