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All you need to know about cotton this week.

Raw materials market Textile
Cotton and putti prices are witnessing extraordinary increases across Pakistan, increasing by a record Rs. 900 per maund in just the last two days. It has brought a sign of relief for farmers as a further increase in prices is expected.

The primary driver behind the rise is the devaluation of the rupee against the dollar. As the rupee fell to a record low against the dollar, cotton prices jumped to Rs. 19,500 per 40 kg while the phutti prices are also averaging above Rs. 8,000 across Punjab.

The Spot Rate of the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) by Rs 500 per maund and closed at Rs 19,400 per maund. The local cotton market remained bullish and the trading volume remained satisfactory.

The new crop of cotton in Sindh fetched Rs 19,500 per maund. The rate of Phutti in Sindh rose to between Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 per 40 kg. The rate of cotton in Punjab ranged between Rs 20,000 to Rs 20,200 per maund and the rate of Phutti was at par with Sindh being between Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 per 40 kg. The rate of cotton in Balochistan also picked up to range from Rs 19,000 to Rs 19,700 per maund while the rate of Phutti also matched that in other two provinces ranging between Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 per 40 kg.

Around, 600 bales of Hyderabad, 800 bales of Mir Pur Khas, 1600 bales of Sanghar, 200 bales of Nawab Shah, 200 bales of Sarkand, 1200 bales of Shahdad Pur were sold at Rs 19,000 per maund, 3400 bales of Saleh Pat were sold at Rs 19,000 to Rs 19,200 per maund, 2400 bales of Tando Adam were sold at Rs 18,325 to Rs 19,100 per maund, 800 bales of Mehrab Pur were sold at Rs 19,100 per maund, 600 bales of Mian Channu, 1200 bales of Lodhran were sold at Rs 20,000 per maund, 200 bales of Chistian, 400 bales of Faqeer Wali were sold at Rs 19,500 per maund, 600 bales of Vehari were sold at Rs 19,500 to Rs 19,700 per maund, 200 bales of Bahawalpur were sold at Rs 19,100 per maund, 400 bales of Chichawatni, 800 bales of Dera Ghazi Khan were sold at Rs 19,700 per maund, 800 bales of Dera Ghazi Khan were sold at Rs 19,500 to Rs 20,000 per maund, 800 bales of Layyah were sold at Rs 19,400 to Rs 19,600 per maund, 600 bales of Haroonabad were sold at Rs 19,600 to Rs 19,800 per maund, 200 bales of Mureed Wala were sold at Rs 19,900 per maund, 200 bales of Hasil Pur, 200 bales of Gojra, 400 bales of Burewala were sold at Rs 19,800 per maund, 200 bales of Arif Wala, 200 bales of Ahmed Pur East were sold at Rs 19,500 per maund, 600 bales of Fort Abbas were sold at Rs 19,700 per maund, 600 bales of Winder, 600 bales of Lasbela and 600 bales of Utal were sold at Rs 19,000 per maund. PolyesterFiber was available at Rs 365 per kg.

Cotton picking has slowed down in the big cotton-producing regions of Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, and Bahawalpur which has also contributed towards the price increase. Cotton ginners expect cotton to cross the magic number of Rs. 20,000 in the coming days, especially with the downward trend of the rupee.

A foreign firm is also purchasing large quantities of cotton from Pakistan this year, due to which a record trend is being seen in the prices of cotton. In most of the cities, the prices of phutti have increased to Rs. 8,500 per 40 kg while in Kharan (Balochistan), the price of phutti reached Rs. 10,000 per 40 kg.

The cotton crop is undergoing a healthy fruit stage under favorable weather conditions with the formation of fruit, buds, and bolls in full swing, and farmers must not keep crops deficient in water and fertilizers at this stage. This was stated by Muhammad Shahid, director of Agriculture Sargodha.

He said the cotton experts had finalized recommendations for the next 15 days for cotton crop management applicable until August 31. In case of rain, farmers should not let water stand and drain it out to avoid chances of plant wilting.

Virus-affected crops should get water and fertilizers in suitable quantities to lessen disease impact. Water and fertilizers are also applied in case of low or no growth. If a crop witnesses vegetative growth with low fruit-bearing, then farmers should apply some suitable growth retardant after consulting agriculture officials.

Farmers should perform hoeing to remove weeds. Steps to remove weeds and application of pesticides should be completed before rain. In the case of crops at the maturity stage, farmers should perform picking before rain. Quality of fiber and seed from bolls affected by rain was usually compromised, the experts said, and advised farmers not to keep seed from such bolls for sowing.

Seed from bolls hit by pink bollworm or dusky cotton bug should also be avoided for sowing. Cotton picking should first target healthy and open bolls and then Phutti be exposed before sunlight to reduce moisture. Crop-bearing fruit in good numbers must not remain deficient in nitrogenous fertilizers.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. market, surprising demand from China was found in U.S. export sales. While the U.S. crop continued to deteriorate, stemming from the southwest.

The cotton market relinquished the gains made from the unexpectedly bullish World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that was released last week when December futures reached as high as 88.83 before settling moderately up going into the weekend. Although the crop condition in the U.S. continues to deteriorate, the cotton market largely lost ground from macro headwinds. Troubling news concerning the Chinese economy weighed on markets, and the pressure continued for the remainder of the week. December futures settled at 83.61 cents per pound, down 254 points from the week prior. Outside of last Friday, daily volumes continued to stay low. Total open interest decreased from 4,148 contracts to 208,111.

Equity markets struggled this week, with major indexes reaching lows not seen in over a month. U.S. retail sales rose 0.7 percent month over month in July, coming in higher than expectations and was a bit of positive news for the cotton market. News that China’s economy is slowing made headlines, and most markets turned lower from the worrisome news. The comments from the July Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting were released on Wednesday, providing a hawkish sentiment to markets. The U.S. Dollar fared well with the economic news this week and reached a 2-month high to finish the week strong. Crude oil fell back early in the week, but news that U.S. inventories were low allowed it to move higher at the end of the week.

Although sales were right around average for this time of the year, a surprising amount of demand was present from China on the Export Sales Report for the week ending August 10. U.S. shippers made net new sales of 186,300 Upland bales and 3,300 Pima bales for the 2023/24 crop year. The biggest buyer on the report was China, booking 138,400 bales. A total of 202,300 Upland bales and 3,100 Pima bales were exported for the week. The past two weeks of Export Sales Reports have many traders confused, seeing as demand for U.S. cotton has been a major concern in recent weeks.

The overall crop in the United States continues to deteriorate, with much of the decline stemming from the Southwest. The overall U.S. crop was rated as 6 percent “Excellent”, 30 percent as “Good”, 21 percent as “Fair”, 24 percent as “Poor”, and 19 percent as “Very Poor”. At a national level, the crop is now just 13 percent open, with most of that in South Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona. 72 percent of the country’s crop is setting bolls, which is 5 percent behind the national average for this point in the crop year. A cool front in West Texas provided a bit of relief early in the week, but the excessively hot temperatures and no rain are back in the forecast for the coming week. There is a prospect of rain in the coming week, with potential hurricanes forming in the Gulf and Atlantic. This would bring along much-needed rain to a very dry Southwest crop. Harvest continues in South Texas and yields in dryland fields are coming in lower than expected.

Rain in the Southwest will be a key factor that traders will be monitoring this week. A close eye will be on the potential systems in the 7-day tropical weather outlook to see if it will bring along any relief in the region. The rain might not do much for the dryland crop, but it would help the irrigated acres.
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