KARACHI: Cotton market closed easy on Saturday due lack of buying interest. Shortage of quality lint and poor demand from spinners kept cotton prices under pressure, thereby creating lacklustre conditions.

Cotton prices during the week on ready counter recorded a fall of Rs300 per maund, with the result both Sindh and Punjab qualities were quoted between Rs6,000 to Rs7,600 per maund. The official spot rates were also lowered by Rs100 to Rs7,400 per maund.

Though improved flow of irrigation water has increased cotton sowing in Sindh and lower Punjab, some growers are still facing water shortages.

The government’s cotton production estimates at 14.3 million bales for season 2018-19 seem too optimistic. Realistically, the size of next cotton crop would at around 12m to 13m bales if historical data is taken into account. However, many stakeholders feel that its too early to estimate crop size since elections are around and most of the rural population will get involved in campaigning, which will affect production.

Meanwhile, row between spinners and value-added sector over the imposition of import duty on yarn has intensified, with the latter opposing the decision and demanding its withdrawal.

The world leading cotton markets gave mixed trend with New York cotton recovering recent losses and Indian and Chinese cotton markets remained steady.

The Karachi Cotton Association spot rates were firm at overnight level.

The following deals were reported to have changed hands on ready counter: 200 bales, station Kabirwala, at Rs7,000; 500 bales, Jatoi, at Rs6,600; and 400 bales, Fort Abbas, at Rs6,475.

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