'Recent downtrend in global cotton prices a major threat'
“The recent downfall in the prices of cotton at the global level is a major threat and to add fuel to the fire, the curtailment of import of cotton and yarn by Chinese has only added fuel to the situation”, said a top official of SIMA at a cotton conference which began yesterday in Coimbatore.
Mr Rajkumar, Chairman of SIMA was speaking on the opening day of the All India Cotton Conference being held in Coimbatore on August 12 and 13, 2014.
Mr Rajkumar said, “The cotton textile industry is often subject to troubles mainly due to volatility in cotton prices preventing it from achieving a sustained growth rate and the recent downfall in the prices of cotton at the global level too is a major threat. The curtailment of import of cotton and yarn by Chinese has only added fuel to the situation.
“A large number of textile mills fall under the category of SMEs, who do not have access to international cotton as they do not have the facility of opening LCs. Moreover, working capital and its cost also do not allow the SMEs to source required volume of cotton during season.
“Last week the Expert Committee of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) uploaded the draft Textile Policy “Vision, Strategy and Action Plan for Indian Textile and Apparel Sector”, but to our dismay, the draft policy does not contain what the industry actually requires.
“Time and again, we have told the government to adopt the Sathyam Committee recommendations, which have not been adhered to, and the recommendations hold good even today. Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) will shortly come out with Vision Document addressing all the issues and will be submitting the same to the Central government.
“Following the introduction of Bt cotton technology, the higher value, quality mismatch and high moisture content are posing problems to the textile mills. The weight loss and admixture of comber noil and poor quality cotton affects the quality of the yarn and profitability.
“Right now, we are having shortage in short staple cotton and in extra long staple cotton, we require new Bt cotton technologies including weedicide, drought tolerant technology, high density planting, research, etc. CICR claims that our country has the potential to produce 1,000 lakh bales of cotton if the above issues are addressed. So, the government should come out with a Fibre Policy to promote cotton, improve productivity and bridge the gap in quality and quantity requirements.
“We have also been asking the government to relax the ‘Cabatoge’ Rule so that foreign flag vessels can be used for transport of cotton from Gujarat and Maharashtra to mills in Tamil Nadu to reduce the freight charges on cotton. It is all the more important as cotton output in Tamil Nadu is only 5 to 6 lakh bales as against the requirement of 120 lakh bales.