Wednesday, September 29, 2010

India can export 75-80 lac bales cotton this year: Pawar

The government has fixed a cap of 55 lakh bales on for the 2010-11 but Agriculture Minister has said that there is a scope for increasing it to 75-80 lakh bales.

"The cotton crop is extremely good this year. We can export upto 75-80 lakh bales, which is not agreeable to my other colleagues," Pawar said yesterday after a meeting of senior ministers, where 55 lakh bales limit was endorsed for 2010-11 marketing season (October-September).

He said a review will be taken by the December-end, adding that the government needs to take a balanced view to protect cotton growers as well as the industry.

"Currently, international prices are good. This is the golden opportunity for farmers and they will get better prices," he said.

One bale contains 170 kgs of cotton. Last week, Pawar had said that "the Textile industry is making noise," as it does not want exports to be allowed during the peak harvesting period -- October-December.

The booking of cotton exports will begin from October 1 and the shipment would take place from November onwards.

According to the estimates of the Agriculture Ministry, cotton production is projected at 335 lakh bales for 2010-11 marketing season, against 239.35 lakh bales last season.

The demand from domestic industry is projected at 220 lakh bales.

Up to 55 lakh bales, the exports will be duty-free and the government is yet to decide whether to allow excess exports with any levy. However, the industry has been demanding imposition of the export duty of Rs 10,000 per tonne fearing that exports would pressure on the domestic prices in the new marketing season.

Cotton prices remained quiet firm in the 2009-10 season touching nearly Rs 40,000 a candy of 336 kg, against Rs 23,000 a candy last year. 


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