By Kavita Desai - Cogencis, | Thursday, Oct 4

 MUMBAI - The Cotton Corp of India will soon commence procurement of raw cotton in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, once the new crop conforms to quality norms fixed for the current season that started Monday, a senior official said. "We are keeping a close watch and awaiting quality arrivals in the market as recent rains have led to moisture above the stipulated norms for the fair-average quality material," the official said. 

According to the fair-average quality norms, moisture content in cotton should be 8-12%. Currently, daily arrivals in north Indian are pegged at 8,000-10,000 bales (1 bale = 170 kg). Most of it is already priced below the minimum support price but high moisture levels make the crop invalid for government procurement, trade officials said. The good-quality crop is likely to hit the market in large quantities from the middle of this month.

The Centre has fixed minimum support price for the medium staple variety at 5,150 rupees per 100 kg, and that for long staple at 5,450 rupees per 100 kg, both 1,130 rupees higher than last year. The official said Cotton Corp has over 55 centres spread over three states in the north zone. Procurement is also delayed due to ongoing disputes between ginners and Cotton Corp with respect to quality parameters laid down by the latter, trade officials said.  

Cotton Corp, in its tender, said ginners must supply minimum 33% lint processed from raw cotton supplied to them, and capped the trash content at 2% across centres but latter diluted it to 2.5%. Ginners in some of the 10 cotton-producing states are yet to reconcile their differences with the Cotton Corp, thereby delaying the procurement. However, the official said that the corporation was about to settle disputes with ginners.

In 2017-18, Cotton Corp did not procure any cotton in north India as market prices remained above the minimum support level throughout the season. Cotton output in Haryana is estimated at 1.7 mln bales in 2018-19, while Punjab is likely to produce 1.3 mln bales, according to the first advance estimate of the state's farm department. Haryana is the largest producer of cotton in north India, followed by Punjab.  --- End--- (Source: