Following 40 per cent decline in cotton prices during the past one-and-a-half month, industry body Assocham today called for lifting the ban on raw cotton exports to protect interests of farmers across the country.
Cotton prices have tumbled from Rs 59,000 to Rs 65,000 per candy on March 31 to Rs 38,000 earlier this month. “As a result, traders, millers, ginners and at the end farmers have suffered a severe setback,” Assocham said in communication to the ministries of textiles and commerce. With opening stock of the year at 4.5 million bales, the production was estimated by the Cotton Advisory Board at 32 million bales. But the domestic consumption was estimated at 24 million bales. The exports allotted till February-end were 6.5 million bales, it said.
On February 25, the Centre banned exports of raw cotton and cotton yarn and the surplus available is 6 million bales with global prices ruling at Rs 80,000 per candy.
“The government must allow cotton exports immediately or those holding stocks will have to bear heavy losses. Traders will not be able to pay fair prices to farmers and this could lead to social unrest,” said Assocham’s Secretary General D S Rawat.
He said the chamber has received wide representations from trade bodies in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat on these lines.