The cotton prices that initially touched Rs4,800 per quintal is now come down to Rs4,700 per quintal despite the area under cotton cultivation has gone up considerably in the state, the former North India Cotton Association president Ashok Kapur attributed the dip in prices to the current trend in the international market. The farmers arriving with their produce in the grain market here are dejected with the low prices.
The off take of yarn was sluggish and the inventory was piling up as the private buyers were not very active, as they anticipated a further dip in the prices. On the other hand, well-off farmers too were now keen to hold back their stock, hoping for better prices in the coming months.
According to the former Punjab Cotton Factories and Ginners Association president Bhagwan Bansal, GST had taken a toll on their business, stating that the banks too were not cooperating with them.
He also blamed the â€œpoor qualityâ€ of Punjab cotton this year for slow buying by the mill owners as the cotton crop needed rain in September, but the weather remained hot and dry, thus affecting its quality. A number of buyers were seen moving to Gujarat that had better quality cotton produce.
Jagtar Singh, a farmer from Chuga Khurd village, said that he sold off his cotton produce in little less than Rs4,700 per quintal. Poor cotton prices have hit the small farmers hard.
While, Modan Singh from Virk Khurd village said that the labour cost too had gone up this year. The labour cost ended up paying Rs800 per quintal, apart from their free transportation.
According to Punjab Beopar Mandal president Ashok Kumar Dhunike, the cotton prices had come down, as China had curtailed its imports and spinning mills back home were grappling with the fund crunch. Moreover, the mill owners did not have ample funds due to fiscal slowdown caused by the GST. The commission agents too were not giving cotton to the mill owners on credit as was the case earlier.
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