Cotton prices hit the roof in Gujarat

Cotton prices in Gujarat have hit the roof, with cottonseed prices ranging between ₹8,500 and ₹10,500 per quintal.

As the largest producer of the natural fibre, Gujarat accounts for almost one-fourth of the total cotton production in the country.

In the current season, cotton acreage in the State stood at 22.53 lakh hectare in the kharif season 2021-22 as against 22.78 lakh hectares in the previous season, with an average of 25.53 lakh hectares recorded over the previous three years.

As per the State government’s First Advanced Estimate (FAE), cotton production in Gujarat at 80.95 lakh bales, each containing 170 kg of seed-cotton, is almost as normal as last year’s.

“The prices have skyrocketed on several factors: one is that production will be substantially lower than what was initially estimated, secondly there is higher demand from the spinning and ginning mills as they don’t have any stock with them from last year,” said Ramesh Patel, a trader from Gondal Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC).

In Gujarat, the APMCs of Rajkot, Gondal and Jamnagar are the main markets for cotton.

According to traders, on the one hand, crop arrivals at the APMCs are low and on the other, prices of cotton seeds have remained steady this year at about ₹3,750 per quintal, while de-oiled cotton cake (DOC) stood at about ₹1,800 for a 50-kg bag.

Additionally, overseas demand for cotton candy or ginned cotton and cotton yarn is robust, contributing to an all-time high price for the commodity, which provides the basic input (natural yarn or fibre) to the textiles and garment industries in the country.

From cotton, seeds are separated during ginning and pressed to extract oil that is used for cooking. During the oil extraction, de-oiled cotton cake, which is leftover during the crushing, serves as a premium cattle feed and is used widely by dairy farmers.

Normally, December and January are the months during which the maximum crop arrivals happen in Gujarat’s cotton belt Saurashtra region.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 10:10:30 am |