KARACHI: Steady flow of buying orders kept cotton prices firm on Thursday with buyers showing keen interest in both Sindh and Punjab crop.

Activity slightly declined owing to high cotton prices for which small- and medium-sized textile spinners were not ready to oblige.

Currently, the biggest issue worrying industry is short crop. There are reports that large textile spinning groups have already started booking cotton imports to meet the expected shortfall in cotton production.

Market sources believe that many spinners are reluctant to enter into imports at an early stage as there could be currency variations by the time shipments are physically made.

According to private estimates, cotton production for current season (2019-20) would not be more than 11 million bales. Cotton quality has been affected following rains in lower Sindh.

Similarly, in Punjab reports suggest that pest attack has damaged cotton crop. The use of inferior quality pesticides made the situation uncontrollable.

The world leading cotton markets gave mixed trend amid reports of bigger cotton crop this season.

The Karachi Cotton Association (KAC) spot rates were firm at overnight level at Rs8,600 per maund.

The following deals were reported to have transpired on ready counter: 1,200 bales, Saleh Pat, at Rs8,675-8,700; 1,200 bales, Khairpur, at Rs8,650-8,700; 1,000 bales, Nawabshah, at Rs8015-8,300; 1,000 bales, Sakrand, at Rs8,200-8,400; 1,000 bales, Bahawalnagar, at Rs8,800; 1,000 bales, Donga Bunga, at Rs8,850; 400 bales, Vehari, at Rs8,600; 600 bales, Layyah, at Rs8,700; and 600 bales, Chishtian, at Rs8,800.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2019