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Cotton arrivals up, so are prices

Fetching growers up to Rs 5,600 per quintal, well above the MSP of Rs 5,350
Though the area under cotton cultivation has declined in Malwa region this year, the cotton arrival in the state’s markets is on the higher side as compared to last year.
While some experts say it may be the result of increased cotton yield, others say the trend might be the outcome of apprehensions regarding the drop in its prices as the season proceeds. At present, cotton is fetching a price of up to Rs 5,600 per quintal, which is above the MSP of Rs 5,350 per quintal. As per reports, 2,37, 518 quintals of cotton arrival was recorded till November 14 last year, which is 2,42,720 quintals for the corresponding period this year.
Talking to The Tribune, former North India Cotton Association president Ashok Kapur said, “No doubt that the arrival of cotton in the region’s markets is more this year, but it may be due to the fact that the prices are ranging between Rs 5,200 and 5,600 per quintal, which is fairly reasonable. The arrivals reflect that the farmers are satisfied with the prevailing cotton prices and there may be a fear at the back of their mind that the prices may decline in the coming days.” At the same time, he felt that the cotton yield may be marginally up this year. He revealed that the millers are going slow when it comes to cotton purchase, as they are waiting for the prices to come down. They will step up the purchase once the prices fall.
He said the quality of cotton was relatively down this year, as it doesn’t have the desired length. Besides, there was dryness in the produce, he added.
PAU’s senior farm economist Dr GS Romana said though he could not spell out clearly right now whether the cotton yield was up this year, but they expected it to be on the higher side, as the region had conducive weather conditions for the crop.
“We will have to wait for the season to end for a clear picture in terms of cotton yield,” he added. Satish Bansal, a leading commission agent, said cotton fetched a price of up to Rs 5,600 per quintal in Bathinda’s market on Saturday.
He said the cotton rates were hovering above Rs 5,500 per quintal for almost a week now, which might be the reason for increase in cotton arrival in the markets. Incidentally, the area under cotton cultivation in the state has declined from 3.83 lakh hectares last year to 2.84 lakh hectares this year.