The textile industry has sought withdrawal of import duty on at least some varieties of cotton from June to October as was done during the last cotton season from April to October to bring stability in cotton prices in the coming months.
Domestic cotton prices have seen a sharp fall in the last few days. The price of the widely-used Shankar-6 variety was ₹60,500 a candy on May 20 and is at ₹ 55,700 on Saturday.
Chairman of the Southern India Mills’ Association Ravi Sam said in a press release that Indian cotton prices are on a par with international prices only now. Almost 270 lakh bales of cotton have arrived in the market during the current cotton season (October 2022 - September 2023) as against the estimated production of 337 lakh bales. The monthly arrival in April was 42.82 lakh bales as against 7.39 lakh bales last April.
“The abnormal month on month kapas price (that) prevailed last cotton season made the farmers and kapas traders to hold over 47% of the cotton hoping for abnormal price increase despite Cotton Corporation of India announcing closure of MSP operations on March 31, 2023,” he said. The prices exceeded ₹1.1 lakh a candy during April 2022.
Mr. Ravi Sam said the global cotton season will begin in August. The remaining domestic cotton should come into the market so that Indian prices remain stable, he said.