Indian cotton prices which began surging from the first week of February 2013 are still gaining momentum and scaled news high’s on March 6, in the new cotton season beginning October 2012.
After being stable and moving in a narrow range since October 2012, Shankar-6 cotton prices have shot up in a matter of 30 days from Rs 34,000 per candy on February 5 to Rs 37,925 per candy on March 7, up 11.54%.
This has led to a furore in the Indian textile sector which had witnessed utmost stability in the last few months, mainly due to steady cotton prices. Most of the experts fibre2fashion spoke to, blame the abnormal surge in cotton export registrations in February.
“The main reason for the surge is that cotton export registrations which stood around 3.5-4 million bales between October and January 2013, touched around 8 million bales by February-end,” Dr Selvaraju – Secretary General of South Indian Mills Association (SIMA) told fibre2fashion.
“Last year also the same thing had happened. Cotton export registrations which had stood at 5.5-6.0 million bales from October 2011 till January 2012, shot up to around 11.5-12 million bales between February and March 2012,” he explained.
Mr Arumugam, Chairman – Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) blames the artificial shortage of cotton created partly due to hoarding by traders and partly by non-release of cotton by Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and other procurement agencies.
Mr. Paritosh Agarwal – MD of Hyderabad-based Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills Ltd, says, “Prices have risen even by around 15% for a few other Indian cotton varieties in the course of the last one month. An extraordinary increase in cotton exports is the main reason for the hike in cotton prices.”
“Secondly, despite the 10-15 percent hike in cotton prices, the Indian textile industry has still not absorbed it, as we have still not been able to raise the prices of yarns or fabrics in the same proportion,” he informed.
Mr Arumugam points out that, nearly 2.5 million bales have been procured by state agencies in the last few weeks. Releasing these quantities now, can fetch an impressive profit for these agencies.
“CCI should immediately release the stocks. Holding on to the procured cotton would only help traders who have also hoarding cotton, purchased from the farmers earlier at low prices,” he said.
“The events of the past one month have created instability in the Indian textile industry, so CCI should immediately start selling its stocks only to actual users, that too, in a restricted quantity to avoid speculation, by these users,” Dr Selvaraju said.