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KARACHI: Renewed buying interest pushed cotton prices up on Monday, with a deal of 400 bales transacted above Rs9,000 per maund.

Many textile spinners sought to replenish their stocks but short supply of quality cotton restricted trading volume from expanding. Cotton stocks with ginners are depleting fast while flow of phutti (seed cotton) has almost come to a standstill.

Cotton analyst Naseem Usman expressed his dismay over cotton estimates of 15 million bales given by the Federal Agriculture Committee for next crop. Questioning the size of next cotton crop, he said, the government department has given estimates without sharing the area which will be under cotton cultivation during the 2019-20 season.

“The cotton crop estimates for 2018-19 were much higher whereas production is now being estimated at 10.8m bales, which is 3.5m bales less than the original figure,” he added.

Meanwhile, cotton sowing is going on in full swing in Sindh. In Southern Punjab, recent rains and hailstorm caused damage to standing wheat crop due to which there will be some delay in cotton sowing.

The world leading cotton markets remained steady as China is going to procure around 4.8m bales from world cotton market.

The Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) spot rates were raised by Rs50 to Rs8,850 per maund.

The following deals were reported to have changed hands on ready counter: 400 bales, station Daharki, at Rs9,200; 1,000 bales, LDC Karachi, at Rs8,850; 1,858, Rajanpur, at Rs8,900-9,000; 1,000 bales, Rahim Yar Khan, at Rs9,000; and 2,600 bales, Haroonabad, at Rs8,600.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2019