Trading activity at cotton market slowed down on Thursday as spinners were hoping that the Plant Protection Department (PPD) would allow importing cotton from India and also relaxing trading conditions for its import. The market should have witnessed brisk activity ahead of long closure on account of Eid Milad ul-Nabi and weekend closure but report of permission for cotton import from India restricted this activity.
Spinners are reported to have based the unavailability of crop as a major factor for import of cotton, and high cotton prices in the domestic market as and the second reason for need of import.
Brokers said that a delegation of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) had recently met the PPD officials in this connection and were able to get the permission.
However, ginners who are holding substantial quantities of cotton strongly rejected the idea and opposed the permission for allowing imports of cotton from India.
Meanwhile, market reports suggested that spinners are booking advance orders with Indian cotton exporters in anticipation that permission would ultimately be granted and have fixed the time frame for validity of these orders up to January 15, 2018.
Last year, Pakistan relaxed cotton imports from India on May 15 in order to give sufficient time to growers to sell their cotton and get proper price for their produce before imports were allowed from the neighbouring country.
The spinners are also demanding withdrawal of 4 per cent customs duty and 5pc sales tax on import of cotton.
Only few deals were reported to have finalised on the ready counter: 400 bales from Tando Adam done at Rs6,250; 600 bales from Rohri at Rs6,450-6,500 and 2,000 bales from Saleh Pat at Rs6,450-6,700.
At Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) spot rates were steady at overnight level.
The market closed at a record level of 75.52 cents per pound. The Indian and Chinese markets also closed higher. The leading world cotton markets also remained highly fluid with New York cotton market closing at a peak level of last 75 days.
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