Current cotton exports from India are lagging compared to last year. According to a recent statement from Mumbai based Cotton Association of India, the export demand for Indian cotton is limited at this point.
A source associated with trading mentioned that for the period covering October 2014-March 2015, India exported 3.7 million bales (170 kg). But during the same timeframe in the last season (October 2013-March 2014), India had exported around 8.5 million bales. Comparing the two years, it is evident that there is a decline of about 50 per cen in cotton export. In addition to the China factor, the source said, the Indian cotton prices are not competitive enough in the international market, making Indian exports less attractive.
While the export market is not presenting a pretty picture, the domestic market is picking up with cotton prices having an upward trend. According to Aruppukottai-South India based cotton spinning mill with 65,000 spindles, the price of cotton is steadily increasing and it is expected to reach a stable and nominal price soon. In the case of MCU-5 cotton variety, which goes towards spinning medium to fine count range yarns, within one week, there has been significant increase of Rs 1,500 for one candy (356 kg). In speaking with the scribe, this source mentioned that it would be beneficial to both farmers and the spinners if the price for this cotton remains stable at Rs 40,000 per candy.
The current cotton arrivals in India are basically 3rd and 4th picking, and hence they are not high quality as compared to the arrivals in December and January. Globally, there is a huge demand for quality cotton. Compared to the 1st quarter, yarn demand is picking up due to export demand for weavers and knitters in India. Both the farmers and spinners are expecting the cotton price to firm up soon so as to reach a win-win situation.
Seshadri Ramkumar, PhD, FTA (Honorary)
Professor, Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX, USA
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