KARACHI: Activity remained slow on the cotton market on Saturday as leading buyers stayed away from the trading ring. Shortage of quality lint and a liquidity crunch in the textile industry is restricting trade.

In the absence of buying interest, cotton prices also remained under pressure. However, buyers readily paid high rates for quality lint which is running in short supply.

With each passing day, availability of quality cotton is becoming difficult and big millers have already shifted their focus on imports. Around 6 million bales are needed to meet the shortfall on harvesting around 9m bales, brokers said.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman said measures need to be taken by the government immediately if the next cotton crop has to be saved. The biggest issue is related to the supply of certified cotton seed and pesticides to growers, he said.

The seed should be of high yield and pest resistance, he added.

Secondly, some 700 companies are currently supplying pesticide in the country and these should be reduced to 30-35 only as is the case in India, the analyst said.

The world cotton markets also remained devoid of activity.

The Karachi Cotton Association spot rates were steady at Rs9,000 per maund.

The following deals were reported to have changed hands on ready counter: 1,200 bales, Khairpur, at Rs8,500-8,700; 600 bales, Rahim Yar Khan, at Rs9,150; 600 bales, Ghotki, at Rs9,100; 400 bales, Pano Aqil, at Rs9,200; and 600bales, Sadiqabad, at Rs9,100.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2019

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