Tuesday, February 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Cotton prices touch record high
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 17
Expecting a considerable decline in the overall production of cotton in the country, its prices, which have been rising for the past two weeks. today touched a record high of Rs 2525 in the markets of North India today.

The raw cotton (Narma) has been fetching Rs 700 more per quintal as compared to the prices, which prevailed in the corresponding period last year. The last year the price of Narma on February 17 was Rs 1850 while today it fetched Rs 2525 per quintal. Today’s price of Narma variety of cotton was highest in about past ten years in the North India markets comprising Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that while the overall production in India was being estimated at about 1.3 crores bales this year against the production of 1.52 crore bales last year. Last year, about 22 lakh bales were imported which came down to only 15 lakh bales this year. Both these factors resulted in unprecedented jump in the price of Narma. Apart from it, overall production of cotton in the world had come down.

On the other hand, the arrival trends in various markets of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan had been indicating that production of cotton would not cross more than 18 lakh bales in the current season. The production target of cotton in the North Zone comprising these three states was fixed around 30 lakh bales in the current season.

Though the prices of Narma variety of cotton had been ruling high, most of the growers would not able to reap the benefits as they had already unloaded their produce in the markets when the prices were not so high. So far about 16 lakh bales in the North belt had arrived in the markets and traders were expecting that about two lakhs bales would arrive more in the markets in the next few months.

Sources said that Punjab state would also fail to meet its production target 11.5 lakh bales of cotton in the current season as the indication given by the arrival trends so far.


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