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Cotton arrivals delayed in Gujarat by at least a month
Oct '11
There has been a delay in arrival of cotton by at least a month owing to longer monsoon in cotton growing regions of Gujarat.

Normally, cotton arrival begins in the State during September-end or early-October, but this time the fresh kharif crop is expected to arrive in the market only by November.

“The monsoon season in the Western Zone, especially Gujarat, which contributes about 30-35 percent of national cotton production, was delayed by about a month,” Mr. NM Sharma, Managing Director, Gujarat State Cooperative Cotton Federation (Gujcot) told Fibre2fashion.

“While the first spell of rains went considerably well, the second spell brought along a month of continuous rains. This gave rise to a situation where there was water logging in the fields. This led to deprivation of oxygen and other natural nutrients, required for the growth of the crop. Hence, growth of cotton crop was hindered,” Mr. Sharma added.

He further explained, “Due to the delay in the monsoon season, only those farmers who had access to irrigation facilities were able to sow in April. The farmers, who are dependent on monsoon, normally carry out sowing of seeds by the 2nd or 3rd week of June, but this was postponed this time to July. This widened the gap in sowing and thus delayed the arrival of cotton by at least a month.”

He went on, “Also, due to the delayed and extended rainy season, there is vegetative growth in the fields, i.e. the crops are healthy, but the flowering stage in the crops is coming now, whereas the first picking stage should have come long back. So, instead of second picking, first picking stage is seen right now.”

Briefing about the impact of the delay, Gujcot MD said, “In addition to the delay in the arrival of cotton, the stock from last year is mostly consumed now. There is 1.5 to 2 million bales of cotton remaining in the country, as against the normal stock of 5 million bales at this time of the year. Thus, there is a reduced cotton stock, considering that export under OGL has already been sanctioned.”

He continued, “The millers were of the opinion that the prices will not revive this year and hence cotton will be available as and when required. But, the uncertainty and unusual behavior by the monsoon rains has led to a sudden gap in the arrival of cotton. Now, cotton is required on a regular basis but the mills do not have sufficient quantity of cotton for day-to-day consumption. They thought that there will be normal monsoon and there will be no problem with the supply, and assumed that there will be surplus cotton from October onwards. Instead, owing to delay by a month, the supply of cotton appears to be less compared to the usual demand. So now, due to the gap, there are more buyers as there is no arrival from the fields.”

Mr. Sharma does not expect the arrival of cotton before the end of October, barring some left over stocks in the fields. He cites the unavailability of labourers due to the festive season as one of the major reasons for this.

“The prices, as such, will not go down and if the international prices improve, then there will be a rise in prices in the country, too, because the industry is mainly based on exports as of now,” he concludes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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