Ban cotton exports, says textile industry

June 20th, 2008 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Ahmedabad, June 20 (IANS) The textile industry has demanded complete ban on cotton exports until the year-end, even as exports resumed after a brief halt following a hike in air freight. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) president P.D. Patodia has said the export ban was necessary to bring down prices of cotton and to improve its availability locally. He suggested the ban should be enforced till December 31.

Simultaneously, CITI also wants customs duty on imported cotton to be lifted.

Textile mill owners say cotton prices have increased globally, and the commodity has become prohibitively expensive. Domestic prices are 20 percent higher than last year’s rates, said Sunil Jain, managing director of the Vadodara-based IC Textiles that has now stopped operations.

He said the prices have risen despite a bumper production because of exports. Traders said 8.5 million bales have been exported in the current cotton season that began last October. According to them, it could cross 10 million bales before the new season began.

According to city-based cotton broker Arunbhai Dalal, Gujarat - India’s largest cotton producing state - has exported 3.9 million bales since October and fresh contracts have been concluded for an additional 600,000 bales.

Because of such large-scale exports, the current season could close with less carryover stocks than in 2006-07. The Cotton Advisory Board estimates 36.4 million bales of cotton to be available this season that ends in September. Of this, textile mills would utilise 24.5 million bales, an increase of 1.3 million bales.

According to a report released this month by the US Department of Agriculture, India’s cotton output for 2008-09 is pegged at 26.5 million bales, compared to 25.3 million bales for the current season.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |