The declining trend in cotton was arrested last week on the Mumbai cotton market. Prices recovered slightly following reports of export quota for the new season being hiked to around 7 lakh bales. Out of the export quota, 1.45 lakh bales are said to be for Bengal deshi which has been allowed to be traded. The new export quota would have to be shipped before September 1998.
In view of the long period allowed for shipment, exporters, the Cotton Corporation of India as well as the state co-operatives refrained from lifting new stock. New crop arrivals would be sufficient during the October-November period, and the prices are also expected to be reasonable.
Traders are perturbed about the divergent reports of the cotton crop during the next season. However, the chairman of the Cotton Corporation of India has announced that the cotton crop would touch new records indicating that the output will exceed 176.50 lakh bales.
Meanwhile, the new crop inflow in Punjab has been steadily increasing, and during the weekend, the inflow was about 1000 bales of Bengal deshi and about 250 bales of saw gin. Mills were not keen on making purchases hoping for further fall in prices during mid-October.
Even the trading for non-transferable, specific delivery contract was lacklustre. October and November deliveries were quoted at steady levels in limited trading.
Punjab Bengal deshi ready was traded at Rs 1150-1160, October at Rs 1130-1150 and November at Rs 1130-1140 per Bengal maund. Punjab saw gin was offered for October at Rs 1800-1850 and November at Rs 1750-1775 per Bengal maund.
In Gujarat, prices ruled steady in limited activity. Shankar-4 extra superior quality was traded at Rs 22,000 per candy. Shankar-4 superior was in demand at Rs 20,500-21,500 and inferior at Rs 18,500-19,500 per candy. Kala ruled at Rs 12,500-12750, waghad at Rs 13,000-13250 and Kalyan at Rs 15,000-15,250 per candy.
Cloth: There was little change in demand at the Mulji Jetha cloth market last week in Mumbai. However, retail and semi-wholesale trade has been reporting very good business as demand for festival seasons pick up momentum. Reports from upcountry centres were also not very encouraging as they were keen on liquidating stocks and cutting prices.
According to powerloom traders, the demand was fairly satisfactory in inferior long cloth and bleached as well as coloured poplins. Powerloom operators had recently hiked their prices, and they have been able to market their goods at the higher prices without much resistance.
In the wholesale market, activity was reported in woolen varieties for the forthcoming winter season.
According to traders, though prices have been hiked by 10 per cent, there has been fairly good demand. Small sized blankets were priced at Rs 60-100, medium-size Rs 115-150 and bigger ones at Rs 160-700 per piece. Kashmiri shawls were sold at Rs 335-1160 per piece.
It was indicated that Century Mills was able to sell its 7 flat and prince varieties of long cloth at hiked prices However, traders were selling other Century products at prices lower than the official selling prices.
Ruby Mill is reported to have sold some of the varieties by hiking prices by around 50 paise to Re 1 per metre.
Victoria Mill had offered creditors of dyes and chemicals goods in kind worth Rs 3.5 crore at higher rates. However, the mill was reported to be selling these varieties at a large discount in the market.
The textile industry in both the private as well as the public sector is passing through a critical time A Orissa government mill was put up for sale, and two parties evinced interest in buying them up. One buyer offered Re 1 for taking over the mill saddled with accumulated losses!
A prominent group of mills based in Mumbai has decided to sell off its properties in Nariman Point and shift to newly constructed buildings at the mills land in Parel.
Many Mumbai-based mills are awaiting the formal government order to sell off excess land and make way for modernisation. The state government is also yet to take a final decision on the offer made by the central government to transfer mills based in the state.