Cotton prices worry textile mills

Textile mills here have expressed concern over the increase in cotton prices during the last one week as it is the main raw material for the mills. Cotton prices have gone up by Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000 a candy during the last one week.

This is because the arrivals so far are less than what it was during the same period last year, says K.N. Viswanathan, vice-president of the Indian Cotton Federation. Cotton farmers across the country are having the stocks and are expected to increase the volume they bring to the market after Sankranti. They do not want to sell at lower prices, he says.

“The mills have run out of stocks and the arrivals so far are lesser compared to last year. Prices are going up as there is buying from the mills, though it is restricted.”

In its estimate at the beginning of the 2013-2014 cotton season (October 2013), the federation had estimated cotton production this year to be 384 lakh bales.

It has revised the estimate to 361 lakh bales now. Production is likely to be lower than our previous expectations especially in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Arrivals are expected to pick up from next week and a clear picture will be available only later, he said.

Meanwhile, the South India Spinners’ Association president K. Thirunavukkarasu has said in a press release that the Cotton Advisory Board had estimated cotton production this year to be 375 lakh bales and the domestic demand to be 297 lakh bales.

Prices were less than Rs. 38,000 a candy till recently. It jumped to almost Rs. 45,000 a candy during the last few days. The sudden increase in prices has hit the small and medium-scale textile mills.

The Union Government should ensure that the mills get cotton at affordable prices, he said.

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