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KARACHI: Brisk activity was witnessed on the cotton market on Tuesday as strong demand emerged from millers at the closing stages. However, cotton prices remained steady at overnight level.

Although textile industry still holds reservations against some of the budgetary measures, it seems that now there is a realisation that wheel of the industry has to be kept moving.

Meanwhile, cotton growers are holding protest rallies in the Punjab against government failure to announce indicative price for phutti before the commencement of the new season (2019-20).

Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan has called a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday (July 17) with cotton and textile industry stakeholders to discuss a formula to determine local seed cotton prices in relation to international rates and import parity price.

Cotton analysts say the government has taken long time in announcing indicative price for phutti since cultivation of cotton crop has ended and presently picking is going on. Any such incentive of fixing indicative price for phutti would not work at this stage, they added.

Arrival of phutti in Punjab has yet to gain momentum and much of trading activity remained around Sindh variety cotton.

There were reports from Sindh cotton fields that strong winds are damaging standing cotton crop in lower parts of province and plants have started shedding bolls.

The world leading cotton markets remained mixed with New York partially recovering recent losses while Indian cotton also made a modest recovery. Chinese cotton closed with fresh gains.

The Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) spot rates were unchanged at overnight level at Rs8,300 per maund.

The following deals were reported to have changed hands on ready counter: 1,000 bales, station Shahdadpur, at Rs8,375-8,400; 3,000 bales, Tando Adam, at Rs8,350-8,400; 1,600 bales, Mirpurkhas, at Rs8,350-8,400; 1,400 bales, Sanghar, at Rs8,350-8,400; 800 bales, Kotri, at Rs8,300-8,350; and 400 bales, Sinjhoro, at Rs8,375-8,400.

Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2019