The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) is prepared to procure some 100 lakh bales of cotton either at Minimum Support Price (MSP) or market prices this season with the cotton arrivals beginning in full swing, according to CCI chief MM Chokalingam. So far this season CCI has already purchased some 62,000 bales of cotton at Minimum Support Price (MSP).
MSP purchase has already begun in Telangana and some parts of Gujarat, prices are ranging between Rs 37,000 and Rs 38,500 per candy. In a couple of states, cotton prices are going down below MSP. In Maharashtra, after November 15, prices are expected to decline as well.
Last week, the India Cotton Federation had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi estimating a record 400-lakh-bale output for the cotton season 2017-18 due to a 20 percent increase in the acreage urged the government to direct the CCI to procure 100 lakh bales.
Gujarat, daily arrivals of raw cotton (kapas) have touched about 28,000 bales and are expected to rise significantly in the next fortnight. Daily arrivals at key cotton growing regions across the country are currently 1.30 lakh bales on a daily basis.
CCI has entered the market in Gujarat to procure cotton from 17 out of 22 centres in the state. Normally, the CCI establishes at least 340 purchase centres across the country.
Procurement has started in some parts of Gujarat because of low prices. CCI is paying MSP plus the Rs 500 per quintal bonus announced by the state, thereby effectively putting the procurement prices at Rs 4,750.
Procurement in other states, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, will begin once the arrivals pick up. As per the Centreâ€™s first advance estimate, cotton production is likely to reach 3.22 crore bales, while the trade estimates the output to cross 4 crore bales.
Gujarat is likely to produce about 25% of the countryâ€™s overall production. Cotton acreage in the state has increased to 26.4 lakh hectares against 24 lakh hectares last year.
Nationally, the acreage is estimated to be higher by 10% at about 111.55 lakh hectares (92.33 lakh hectares). Internationally, prices may remain under pressure as higher crop is expected.
A latest estimate put out by the International Cotton Advisory Committee projected 2017-18 global cotton production at 255.7 lakh tonnes against 230 lakh tonnes in 2016-17.
Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh had directed Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) to commence online registrations of farmers for the purchase of cotton from October 18 for the cotton season of 2017-18.
The government to extend the necessary marketing support to the cotton growers in selling their cotton produce at most competitive prices in the various market yards in all cotton-growing states has appointed two agencies CCI and Nafed.
Cotton MSP has been raised by Rs 160 per quintal to Rs 4,020 per quintal for medium staple cotton and Rs 4,320 per quintal for long staple cotton.
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