MULTAN: Cotton prices remained under pressure on Monday as both buyers and sellers moved to the sidelines. The Karachi Cotton Association however kept its spot rate unchanged at Rs8,700.

Experts said that cotton prices during last two weeks fell by Rs1,000 which is an alarming situation for all stockholders. Major reasons behind the deteriorating situation include the government’s announcement to impose General Sales Tax on raw cotton and the increase in interest rates.

Ginners are avoiding using their bank limits to make the payments because of increased interest rate which is totally discouraging for the farming community, experts said.

Meanwhile, there are also reports of pest attacks on cotton crop in districts Sahiwal, Vehari, Bahawalnagar and Khanewal.

Cotton experts said that if the current situation continued to prevail, farmers will lose their interest in the crop and government’s target of 150 million bales would not be achieved.

On Sunday, a meeting of the executive body of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) was held in Bahawalpur. However no announcement has made about the meetings outcome.

Sources said that there were differences amongst Sindh and Punjab ginners over the proposed strike against the government’s decision of imposing GST on raw cotton.

One of the ginners group was of the view that instead of closing factories, the association should wait for the decisions of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association. The ginners also suggested that farmers’ representatives should also be invited in next meeting to devise any strategy.

The following deals were reported to have changed hands on the ready counter: 800 bales, Mirpurkhas, at Rs8,000-8,075; 1,200 bales, Tando Adam, at Rs8,000-8,200; 800 bales, Sanghar, at R8,200-8,600; 800 bales, Rahim Yar Khan, at Rs8,650; and 600 bales, from Bahawalpur, at Rs8,650.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2019