KARACHI, March 5: Cotton market on Friday passed through another dull session as spinners adhered to the sidelines anticipating further decline in prices.

The interesting feature was that private sector exporters were back on the market and purchased stray low-mic lots from the central Sindh ginners, against their forward sales to foreign buyers.

The presence of exporters on the market reflects that foreign demand of the local stuff is rising after the steep decline in New York cotton futures during the last couple of sessions.

News from the New York Cotton Exchange were bearish as both the futures contracts came in for renewed selling and ended further lower at 67.60 and 68.97 cents per lb for both the matured March and the ruling May settlements respectively, off 0.90 and 1.05 cents per lb.

Spinners were, however, in two minds and could precisely decide whether or not to go for the foreign lint before prices bounce back above the 70 cents per lb mark, dealers said.

Leading group of spinners are apparently relying on the advice of their foreign agents, some of whom predict further reaction in the world prices as higher crop figures have taken initiative from the speculative forces at least for the near-term, they said.

The prevailing sluggishness on the local market points to this decisiveness on the part of mills and spinners who are awaiting further developments on the international cotton markets. But ginners appear to be in no obliging mood and held on to their positions, although larger unsold stocks to which huge amounts of money are tied worry them.

"It is a question of parity level," says a leading ginner. "We can't sell lint below Rs3,000 after having purchased above Rs1,300 per 40 kg on average." Phutti prices had risen to Rs1,750 in late December on reports of an extensive damage to standing cotton crop because of late pest attack and ginners have to buy it at the higher rates.

Low-mic lint was, however, available below this rate as some of the ginners holding odd lots tried to get out of the unsold stocks before the new crop from the lower Sindh cotton belt arrives, market sources said.

Official spot rates remained basically unchanged from the overnight level of Rs3,075 per maund excluding 15 per cent sales tax. Ready business was light totalling 1,000 bales as under: 200 bales, Sanghar at Rs2,650, 500 bales, at Rs2,600 and 200 bales, Sadiqabad at Rs2,800, purchased by the exporters.

The following are Friday's new crop Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) official spot rates for local dealings in Pak rupees for base grade 3 staple length 1-1/32" micronair value between 3.8 to 4.9 NCL.
Ex-gin price
Sales Tax
Spot rate ex-Karachi
including Sales
Tax @ 15%
37.32 kgs 3,075 3,536.25 50 3,586.25
40 kgs 3,3295 3,789.25 50 3,839.25



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