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Inferior quality cotton arriving in markets
May '11
In just over a month, raw cotton prices have plunged by more than 26 percent, mainly due to a slowdown in demand, but also due to the low and inferior quality of cotton arriving in the markets of major cotton producing regions like Gujarat.

The micronaire of cotton arriving currently in the markets is very low. It is just between 2.8-3.2 mic, when compared to a standard of 3.5-4.9 mic.

Mr Bharat Vala, President - Saurashtra Ginners Association (SGA) says, “It is true that, inferior quality cotton is arriving in the market. It is mainly coming from North Gujarat and to a certain extent from Maharashtra”.

“The reason for such cotton is because it is from the fifth and last plucking. It is said to be of inferior quality because it does not have the required fibre characters. The micronaire is low and the length and strength also does not meet the standards”, he explained.

“However, this will not affect the textile industry much. A slow-down is being witnessed as the inventory of yarn is increasing, since the dyeing units in the Tirupur cluster have shutdown, due to an order from the High Court.

“As a result, yarn may be converted in to fabrics, but since the dyeing units have shutdown, inventories are piling up across all the backward linkages of the textile value-chain. We hope a solution will be found within the next few months”, he said.

Mr Anand Popat of Jalaram Cotton & Proteins and Secretary - Saurashtra Ginners Association said, “Normally a cotton crop can be plucked five times, but farmers usually, pluck just two times and then uproot the crop and sow other crops.

“However, since this time cotton prices are very high and water supply is also adequate, farmers who grew cotton are plucking more than the usual two times. The cotton that comes after 3-4 pluckings is of inferior quality, which is also called 'Further Cotton'.

“This cotton is of lesser micronaire and also has poor length and strength. The length from the fifth plucking is just 25 mm against the standard 28.5 mm and the micronaire value of cotton is between 2.8 to 3.2 mic compared to the international standard of 3.5 mic to 4.9 mic” he winded up by saying.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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