The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) representing various industries, has appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to set up a Textile Promotion Board and also formulate a new textile policy. The textile industry is fully dependent on the overseas market and a Textile Export Promotion Board should be formed with an objective to provide better linkage facilities and for marketing of finished products, FIEO regional chairman A Sakthivel said. The textile industry is one of the oldest in the country and accounts for four per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The trade employs nearly 35 million people and offers huge potential, he said in a statement her Stating that the United States and Europe constituted the major market for textiles, he said today India faces serious challenges from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Urging the state government to announce a new textile policy to help boost trade, he said a textile park in Tamil Nadu may be set up. Sakthivel said Tamil Nadu textile industry generates business to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore every year and it was expected to reach Rs 75,000 crore by 2020. “With proper policy direction from the government, the state can become a top textile producer and exporter”.
Source: Financial Express
The Central Government has been implementing several schemes for the benefit of textile workers in the country, said Minister of State, Textiles, Ajay Tamta on Thursday. In a written reply to the Lower House, Tamta said that various policy initiatives and schemes for the welfare of textile workers are being implemented by the Centre. He specifically mentioned about schemes, such as Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS), Schemes for Development of Silk and Sericulture sectors, National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP), Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme(CHCDS), Yarn supply Scheme and National Handicrafts Development Programme (NHDP), etc. The Government is also implementing PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for Powerloom Sector Development, the minister added. In addition, various social welfare schemes for weavers/ workers, such as Matatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana, the Group Insurance Scheme for Powerloom workers, the Aam Admi Bima Yojana and scholarship for children of jute workers are being implemented by the Centre. In his written reply, Tamta also said that the Textile Workers Rehabilitation Fund Scheme (TWRFS) was introduced to provide relief to workers rendered jobless due to permanent closure of Non-SSI Textile Mills in private sector. The Government had also approved a special package for textile sector with an outlay of Rs. 6000 crore to boost employment generation and exports, particularly in Garmenting and Made-ups, he added.
Source: Times News Bureau
India’s export of textiles and garments showed a CAGR increase of 3.2 per cent in the last three years from Rs 2,47,546 crore in fiscal 2014-15 to Rs 2,63,494 crore in 2016-17. The foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflow in the sector rose by 169 per cent from $230.13 million in 2015-16 to $618.95 million in 2016-17, says the ministry of textiles. To enhance investment, production and export in the textile sector, the government has launched a special package for the apparel and made-ups segments of the industry, minister of state for textiles Ajay Tamta informed the lower house of Parliament. The package includes enhanced duty drawback coverage, rebate of state levies on export of garments and made-ups, additional incentives under Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) and Scheme for Production and Employment Linked Support for Garmenting Units, Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMPRPY) and incentives under the Income Tax Act, the ministry said in a press release. The FDI equity inflow in this sector in April-May in the current fiscal was $ 21.41 million, he said. The export of readymade garments increased from $16,216 million in 2014-15 to $17,091 million in 2016-17, whereas in the same period the export of cotton textiles, man-made textiles, silk, wool and woollen textiles, and handloom and jute products witnessed a decline.
The Chief Minister’s Indigenous Textile Promotion Scheme has been launched in Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) by Deputy Commissioner Deepak Shinde at Roing on Thursday. The scheme will benefit 500 weavers in the district. The Deputy Commissioner encouraged the weavers to come up with innovative products and highlighted the significance of local products in boosting tourism industry and local economy. He also informed about Deen Dayal Upadaya Bookmark Scheme under which women weavers will be eligible for 7% interest subsidy on credit. The Deputy Commissioner distributed free yarn to weavers and later visited the craft centre and assured to help in modernization of tools and equipments of the centre. The programme was organized by the Department of Textile & Handicraft, Lower Dibang Valley District. DIPRO
Source: The Times of India
NEW DELHI: The India Handloom Brand (IHB) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June has already seen a total sale of Rs 159 crore. The IHB is the branding of high quality handloom products. In a written reply in Parliament, textile minister Smriti Irani said that the IHB has partnered with various retail stores to showcase and sell its exclusive products and a total of Rs 3.65 crore has been reported so far through these stores. "20 e-commerce entities have also been engaged for online marketing of handloom products and as of June 30, a total sale of Rs 10.62 crore has been generated from online portal on account of online marketing of handloom products," Irani said in her written reply. The IHB promotes the production of niche handloom products with high quality, authentic traditional designs with zero defect and zero effect on environment. As part of promoting the handloom sector, the textile ministry has gone in for linking of various leading brands with the weavers/ producers of IHB. Under this initiative, brands like BIBA, Peter England, ONAYA, have launched separate ranges of garments for promoting traditional textiles, added the minister. From August 7, the NDA government will also hold an all-India handloom programme for weavers in Guwahati to create awareness about the various programmes initiated by the government to promote the handloom sector. This was revealed by the minister of state for textiles, Ajay Tamta, during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha on Friday. Tamta added that while there is no proposal to offer 20 per cent year-long rebate on handloom products currently, the government may consider the suggestion. Tamta also informed that handloom weavers are not covered under GST. Besides, Rs 6,000 crore subsidy that had been announced for the handloom sector will also not fall under the purview of the GST regime. Tamta, who was answering a question in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour, said, "The Handloom weavers do not come under the GST regime as their total turnover is below Rs 20 lakh." Maintaining that the government was concerned over the welfare of handloom weavers, he said in order to encourage the setting up of solar power handloom units, the government provides a subsidy of 90 per cent to scheduled tribe weavers, 75 per cent to scheduled caste weavers and 50 per cent to the general category weavers.
Source: The Times of India
Coimbatore: With the demand for imported cotton increasing due to quality issues in locally sourced cotton, the union ministry of shipping has facilitated the setting up of trans-shipment facility at the Tuticorin port for storing around 250 containers of cotton. The cotton can be stored for up to 30 days for free of cost and another 60 days at a discount charge with freedom to sell the cotton either in India or any other country depending upon the demand. "The trans-shipment facility would bring stability in cotton prices as imported cotton would be available at demand and also help the mills to prevent losses due to price volatility and also currency fluctuations," said M Senthilkumar, chairman, Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA). The facility would enable MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) category spinning mills to have direct and daily access to imported cotton, he said. Spinning mills in Tamil Nadu (TN) consume about 120 lakh bales (a bale 170 kgs) of cotton per year. Since TN produces only around 5 lakh bales of cotton per year, mills procure around 80% of cotton from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and other major cotton growing states by spending up to Rs. 6 per kilo for transportation. They also import around 15% of the cotton from African countries, the US and Australia. SIMA has been making several attempts to facilitate coastal movement of cotton to reduce the transport cost and also to create free trade zone (FTZ) facility at Tuticorin. "Since creation of FTZ facilities is a time consuming process, the union minister of state for shipping Rajagopal Sharma advised (us) to set up a trans-shipment facility," SIMA said.
Source: The Times of India
A special storage facility for handling raw cotton at Dakshin Bharat Gateway Container Terminal at V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust was inaugurated by Chairman S. Anantha Chandra Bose on Friday. As part of its ‘Ease of doing business’ initiative, VOC Port has planned to accommodate around 500 units of 40 foot container in the custom-bonded area of Dakshin Bharat Gateway Container Terminal to store raw cotton. The raw cotton can be stocked for a period of 30 days at no cost. The Department of Customs has also issued necessary guidelines for handling imported raw cotton and storage in the facility.The prime objective is to facilitate international cotton traders to bring cotton and store it in the Port yards and sell the cotton either to mills in India and to have the leverage of selling it to other countries as well. It is pertinent to note that the above facility will aid textile mills to get cotton at the international price within a short span of one week, thereby increasing yarn production in Tamil Nadu. The facility would have a rippling effect by strengthening the textile value chain particularly knitting, weaving, garmenting, textile processing, apparel sector etc. and through providing employment opportunities for more than one lakh people of Tamil Nadu. In addition, it will also lead to parity in cotton price at the Indian market. In order to give impetus to the import of containerised raw cotton, V.O. Chidambaranar Port has also agreed to levy nominal rent on the containers carrying raw cotton handled at the Port by the traders. In the second phase, a Free Trade Warehousing Zone (FGTWZ) will be established in the Port Estate with the creation of world-class infrastructure for warehousing of raw cotton, state-of-the-art equipment, transportation and handling facilities, commercial office-space, water, power, communications and connectivity, with one-stop clearance of import and export formality to support the integrated zones as ‘international trading hubs.’ V.O. Chidambaranar Port has already identified 52.40 hectares of land in the Port area for establishing FGTWZ and the Port is in the process of finalising the detailed project report for the same. Commissioner of Customs, Thoothukudi, K.V.V.G. Diwakar, Deputy Chairman, V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust S. Natarajan, Chairman, the Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA), M. Senthil Kumar and senior officials of the port were present.
Source: The Hindu
The GST Council will meet on Saturday to iron out crucial issues related to e-way bill, finalise a mechanism to operationalise the anti-profiteering clause and revisit the demands of the textile as well as other sectors. The Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will also take stock of the implementation of the country’s biggest tax reform that was rolled out on July 1. The goods and services tax (GST) Council is likely to lower tax rate on Saturday on job works making fabric to garments to 5 per cent and put in place a mechanism for online registration of goods above a certain value before they can be transported. The Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will also review at its meeting the implementation of the new GST regime since July 1 and may finalise a mechanism to operationalise anti-profiteering provision to protect consumer interest. The Central Board of Excise and Customs Chairperson Vanaja Sarna said the movement of goods between states has eased, with 25 out of the 29 states abolishing checkposts. This would further smoothen after eway bill in the GST that requires any goods more than ~50,000 in value to be pre-registered online before it can be moved is implemented. She, however, declined to comment on whether the threshold in e-way bill will be retained at ~50,000 amid demands from various quarters to raise it. Officials said rules for the e-way bill will be decided on Saturday. This GST provision requires any goods more than ~50,000 in value to be pre-registered online before it can be moved. As per the draft provision, the GST Network would generate e-way bills that will be valid for 1-20 days, depending on the distance to be travelled - one day for 100 km, 3 days (100 to less than 300 km), 5 days (300 to less than 500 km) and 10 days (500 to less than 1,000 km). The information technology platform for the e-way bill system is being developed by the National Informatics Centre. Earlier this week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said it would be mandatory for manufacturers to pass on benefits GST Council is likely to lower tax rate on Saturday on job works making fabric to garments to 5% and put in place a mechanism for online registration of goods above a certain value before they can be transported of reduction in taxes post- GST to consumers. “What if the input tax benefit is not transferred to consumers? We are meeting a few days from now. In a short while, we are going to finalise the entire mechanism as far as anti-profiteering is concerned,” he had said in Parliament. The Council is also likely to consider lowering of tax rates for job works for making garments to 5 per cent from 18 per cent, an official said. Currently, services by way of job works in relation to textile yarns — other than man-made fibre/filament — and textile fabrics attract 5 per cent GST. Other job works in relation to garments attract an 18 per cent levy. The official said the Council may look at streamlining it and bring all job works, including making garments from fabric, under the 5-per cent slab. Apart from reviewing the roll-out of the GST regime, the 20th meeting of the Council may, on Saturday, take a look at streamlining the anomalies raised by the industry over the past one month. It will be the first full-fledged meeting of the GST Council, also comprising representatives of all the 29 states, after the roll-out of the new indirect tax reform on July 1. The Council had on July 17 discussed, via video conferencing, hiking cess on cigarettes, as there was some anomaly in the rate fixed earlier. After the July 1 roll-out, the textile sector had protested, demanding roll-back of 5 per cent GST on fabrics.
Source: Business Standard
The rupee on Friday closed at a fresh two-year high at 63.5825 against the dollar, compared with Thursday’s closing of 63.69, an impressive gain of 11 paise, even as panic dollar unwinding continued. The domestic currency had seen this level on July 22, 2015. Intraday, the rupee hit a high of 63.55 against the American currency. The current rally has been spurred by sustained foreign fund inflows on expectations of more aggressive reform measures that will boost long-term economic growth against the backdrop of improving macro environment. The rupee held almost steady on Thursday on speculation that the central bank may have intervened to counter its rise. Breaching the psychologically significant 64-mark on Wednesday believed to have triggered stop losses and panic unwinding as the sharp appreciation of the rupee has caught exporters on the wrong foot, a forex dealer said. Heavy unwinding of long-dollar positions built by speculative traders last week ahead of FOMC meet also gave the rupee a boost, he added. The greenback has been on the back foot throughout the week, largely impacted by uninspiring US economic data which have added to uncertainty about the pace of future Federal Reserve policy tightening amid political turmoil gripping Washington. Maintaining its strong edge against the beleaguered dollar, the rupee resumed modestly higher at 63.67 at the forex market. But, it soon slipped back to hit a fresh low of 63.73 briefly in mid-morning trade before rebounding to continue its northward journey. After conquering yet another intra-day high of 63.55 towards the fag-end trade, the local unit finally settled down at 63.58, revealing a smart gain of 11 paise, or 0.17%. For the week, it has strengthened by a solid 57 paise. In cross-currency trades, the rupee gained further ground against the pound sterling to end at 83.56 from 83.75 per pound, but dropped further against the euro to finish at 75.48 from 75.44 earlier. It also weakened further against the yen to finish at 57.79 per 100 yens from 57.67. In worldwide trade, the dollar struggled near its two-and-a-half-year low against the euro and a seven-week trough versus the yen on Friday in the midst of sluggish US data also some caution ahead of closely watched non-farm jobs report later in the session. The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, rose about 0.2%. In the forward market, premium for dollar remained soft due to sustained receivings from exporters. The benchmark six-month premium payable in January inched down to 138-140 paise from 139-141 paise and the far forward July 2018 contract also edged lower to 272-274 paise from 275-277 paise on Thursday.
Source: Financial Express
ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee was told on Thursday that the government had decided to wind up the Pakistan Textile City even though more than Rs2.5 billion had already been invested in the initiative. “The company faces financial problems and its liabilities have swollen to nearly Rs5 billion during the last decade. The board of governors has decided to wind up the Textile City,” Kazim Hussain, Director General of Planning and Development, Port Qasim Authority, told the Senate committee on ports and shipping. Mr Hussain, who is also a member of the Textile City’s board of governors, said a general body meeting of investors and shareholders would be held soon. If 75 per cent of the investors voted for winding up the project, it would be closed down, Mr Hussain said. “The government has ordered the disposal of all assets of the company and the land transferred to the Port Qasim Authority, which leased 1,250 acres for the Textile City. The PQA shall be responsible for settling all liabilities of the company out of its own resources since it will have beneficial use of the land,” Mr Hussain told the committee members. The committee was informed that the city was established in May 2004 in order to encourage the setting up of special textile export processing zones. Mr Hussain said the company was set up to provide the textile sector with a sound infrastructure. According to the official, the government owned 56 per cent shares while the Sindh government 16 per cent. “Although Rs2.5 billion has already been injected into the infrastructure, no progress could be made due to unavailability of water, gas and electricity. The issue of these basic utilities could not be settled despite our best efforts. The company’s accounts have been blocked by the National Bank due to non-payment of loans,” said Mr Hussain. The company has been suffering losses of Rs800,000 every day. Mr Hussain told the meeting that the NBP had now approached the High Court to recover its dues and the matter was pending in court. However, the committee believed that the company, a project of the federal government, should be revived. “We need the textile industry to grow. The federal government and the Sindh government should come up with a strategy to settle liabilities. Huge investments have already been made, including two solar and wind power generation plants,” said Senator Taj Haider. He believed that once the company became operational, it would employ more than 32,000 people directly and indirectly.Senator Nehal Hashmi was pessimistic about the project. “Over the last ten years, nothing has been done on the ground. There is no gas, no water and no electricity because nobody ever took interest,” said Mr Hashmi. The chairman of the committee, Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, said the committee had made recommendations for breathing a new life into the project, calling for sending the suggestions to the prime minister.
Japanese investors can now set up readymade garment units in a special economic zone (SEZ) dedicated to Japan, Bangladesh commerce minister Tofail Ahmed has said. The statement came after his recent meeting with Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Masato Watanabe in Dhaka. Japan has promised to invest around $6 billion in Bangladesh, Ahmed said. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is working closely with Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for the dedicated SEZ, which will be set up soon, Watanabe said. Commerce secretary Shubhashish Bose and senior officials of the ministry were present at the meeting, according to Bangladesh media reports. The number of Japanese firms investing in Bangladesh witnessed a ten-fold rise from 35 ten years ago to around 350 now, Ahmed said. Bangladesh is developing 100 SEZs across the country. About 350 Japanese firms, including RMG and backward-linkage factories, are operating at present in the various export processing zones.
BEIJING: China will soon launch a new commodity futures contract as the country pushes for development of its commodity derivatives market. Starting from Aug 18, cotton yarn futures will be trading on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, with preparation work for the launch already completed, said the China Securities Regulatory Commission in a statement Friday.
Trading tests will take place on Aug. 5 and 12.
Futures contracts obligate investors to buy or sell underlying assets at a predetermined price at a specified time, helping investors mitigate risks of price volatilities. In an earlier note the CSRC said cotton yarn futures together with cotton futures, which are already traded, would help companies in the industry to hedge against and improve the management of risk. Large and frequent fluctuations in cotton yarn prices have had a negative impact on related industries in the past few years, and the launch of the cotton yarn futures will be an answer to market demand, the CSRC said. China has been developing its commodity derivatives market and plans to gradually open it up to foreign investors. Earlier in April, the country launched white sugar options, the second commodity options after soybean meal.
Source: Business Recorder
KARACHI: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Acting Chairman Zahid Mazhar has asked new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to place the revival of economy and textile industry on top of his 45-day agenda. Mazhar welcomed the maiden speech of Abbasi in parliament in which he said that he wanted to do the work of 45 months in his short tenure of 45 days. Textile lobbies demand industrial census to resolve problems “The new premier has taken charge when economy’s condition has reached a very alarming stage,” said Aptma in a statement issued on Thursday. Mazhar voiced hope that the prime minister would leave no stone unturned for the revival of textile industry and bringing it to its true worth even in the short span of 45 days. Before becoming the prime minister, Abbasi remained the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources in the past four years and he knows the core economic issues and challenges faced by the textile industry. The acting chairman of Aptma, one of the strongest trade bodies in Pakistan, pointed out that Pakistan’s trade deficit in the last financial year swelled to an all-time high at $32.58 billion. The country’s imports stood at $53 billion while exports were worth just $20.45 billion – the lowest since fiscal year 2009-10. He decried that nobody from the government seemed to have taken notice of the continuous decline in exports and aired hope that the new PM and his cabinet would take immediate steps to arrest the drastic fall in shipments. “Any further negligence or delay will take the economy to a point of no return,” he warned. Mazhar boasted that the textile industry was capable enough to bring the economy out of the current difficult condition. “It can generate employment and at the same time achieve export target of $36 billion provided immediate decisions and policies are made to support it,” he said.
He was of the view that the country in order to survive had to achieve 8% annual economic growth, which was only possible if the government immediately started giving attention to the export sector, especially the textile industry. He said the textile industry had been hit hard by the high cost of energy, leaving Pakistan’s exports uncompetitive in the global market as the cost of gas and electricity was about 30% higher than the regional competing countries. He asked the prime minister to issue instructions to the Federal Board of Revenue for release of the outstanding sales tax refund claims of over Rs200 billion by mid-August as promised by the previous government. FDI target set at $15 billion by 2025 The industry says it is facing severe liquidity crunch because of the delay in sales tax refund and a further delay will lead to disastrous consequences.
Source: The Express Tribune
Innovation has been the driver of Colombia’s apparel industry and the country plans to showcase its capabilities in upcoming U.S. tradeshows. Fourteen Colombian apparel companies, including Tejidos Gulfer, True Shapers and Lafayette, will be participating in four major U.S. trade shows, including Curve and Magic, over the next few weeks. At each show, the companies will highlight their latest products, while demonstrating their innovative projects in social responsibility and sustainability. Colombia-based sportswear and swim company, Tejidos Gulfer, is helping the country cut back on natural resource use and minimize poverty with its latest outreach efforts. Tejidos Gulfer currently has an environmental policy that incorporates Greentec technology stamping machines, which minimizes the amount of water used in apparel production. The company also runs “A roof for my country,” a social responsibility program that builds homes for people in need. With more than 24 years in the business, True Shapers, another Colombian brand, is making moves in the lingerie space. As a leading brand in control clothing and girdles, True Shapers is available in more than 14 nations. The company manufactures its garments with advanced fabrics, including 3 Structured D and 3 Plus D, that offer wearers comfort without restricting body movement. True Shapers was also recognized by Innpulsa as an innovative company that strengthens Colombia’s apparel market competition. Lafayette, one of Colombia’s leading sports fabric suppliers, is also a major player in recycling and water conservation. The company currently reuses 24 percent of its water for other production processes, while reducing water consumption from 43.5 to 36 liters per meter of fabric. In addition to engaging in water conservation, Lafayette also uses boiler conversion technology to reduce carbon emissions from apparel production. Interested parties may visit the companies at Curve, which is taking place at the Javits Convention Center in New York from Aug. 3-6, while Magic will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Aug. 13-16.
Source: Journal Online
A cotton futures rally to a seven-week high stalled amid U.S. old-crop export sales cancellations and lower-than-expected new-crop sales. December still gained 127 points for the marketing week ended Thursday to close at 70.16 cents. It hit a high of 70.58 cents, highest intraday price since June 15 and up from the week’s low of 68.23 cents on Tuesday. It posted back-to-back closes above its 50-day moving average. Dwindling certified stocks and uncertainty about excessive rains on crop prospects in India, the world’s largest cotton producer, offered support. So did a midweek dive in the U.S. dollar index to a new low for the move. Cert stocks fell to 27,577 bales, lowest since October 2016. The market rose in the face of beneficial rains in the Texas High Plains, where estimates of acreage losses to earlier weather adversities have neared USDA’s national analytical assessment of abandonment in July. Updated supply-demand estimates are scheduled for release on Thursday when USDA will report results of the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s first survey-based results for U.S. 2017 cotton production. Combined net U.S. all-cotton export sales for 2016-17 and 2017-18 fell to 82,700 running bales during the week ended July 27 from 265,200 RB the previous week. Net cancellations of 56,400 RB were reported for 2016-17 and net sales of 139,100 for 2017-18. All-cotton commitments for 2016-17 totaled 15.206 million RB, up 5.565 million RB or 58 percent from cumulative sales a year ago and about 108 percent of the USDA export estimate. Unshipped old-crop commitments at the end of the marketing year July 31 were rolled forward, swelling new-crop bookings. Outstanding sales at the end of the reporting week were 895,000 RB. All-cotton shipments of 284,500 RB, down from 334,700 RB the prior week, brought the season’s total to 14.311 million RB, 246,000 RB above the USDA forecast with four days left in the crop year. Converting running bales to statistical 480-pound bales would suggest final shipments could range from 14.8 million to 14.9 million bales, up from the USDA estimate of 14.5 million. This would reduce the carryover to as low as 2.8 million bales from the current estimate of 3.2 million. The stocks will be needed to meet export demand and consumption by domestic mills prior to volume movement of the new crop. Weekly crop progress reports have shown that squaring and setting of bolls are lagging the five-year averages. Commitments for 2017-18 rose to 5.269 million RB, 40 percent of the forecast and up 2.525 million RB or 92 percent from year-ago forward sales that were about 20 percent of the current 2016-17 export estimate. The July supply-demand estimates projected 2017-18 ending stocks at 5.3 million bales, largest since 2008-09 when stocks were 6.3 million bales. This was with beginning stocks estimated at 3.2 million bales. On the crop scene, U.S. cotton conditions dipped during the week ended Sunday, with good to excellent up a percentage point to 56 percent but poor to very poor up two points to 12 percent, USDA’s weekly progress report showed. This was the third weekly decline in a row. Good to excellent still was up six points from a year ago. The DTN cotton condition index, based on the USDA report, dropped four points to 136, lowest of the season but up from a reading of 125 a year ago. Eighty-seven percent was squaring, four points behind last year and the five-year average, while boll setting at 46 percent lagged both by seven points. In Texas, good-excellent dropped a point to 44 percent and poor-very poor rose five points to 20 percent, compared with 42 percent and 20 percent last year, respectively. Squaring at 83 percent and boll setting at 33 percent were behind the respective five-year averages of 89 percent and 40 percent. Abandonment estimates from early season hail and wind damage on the High Plains remain about 20 percent across the 41-county area served by the Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., discussion at the PCG’s latest advisory group meeting indicated. This was reported by Mary Jane Buerkle, director of communications and public affairs, in PCG’s weekly newsletter. Conditions range from poor to excellent, she said, noting that some later-planted cotton has struggled. In other areas, however, growers applied growth regulators on fields green and lush with lots of blooms and good potential, she noted. If applied to the two USDA crop reporting districts making up the High Plains, the advisory group estimate would mean a loss of 810,000 acres of from 4.055 million planted and intended for planting reported June 30. An additional 1.205 million acres were planted in cotton in the adjoining Rolling Plains. The USDA estimated U.S all-cotton abandonment at 7 percent or 880,000 acres in its July forecast for a crop of 19 million bales off 12.06 million planted acres, 11.18 million harvested acres and a yield of 816 pounds per acre. Meanwhile, trend-following funds raised their net longs for the first time in 10 weeks in ICE cotton futures-options combined during the week ended July 25, according to traders-commitments data reported by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. They covered 1,724 shorts and added 467 longs, lifting their net longs 2,191 lots to 17,251. Index funds nudged their net longs up 380 lots to 73,251, while non-reportable traders raised their net shorts 1,812 lots to 3,976. Commercials sold a net 758 lots, adding 865 shorts and 107 longs to boost their net shorts to 86,525 lots. Combined open interest edged up 181 lots to 263,756. In futures only, non-commercials’ net longs rose 1.1 percentage points to 12.4 percent of the open interest. They bought 2,455 lots, covering 1,879 shorts and adding 576 longs to hike their net longs to 26,931 lots. Open interest increased 482 lots to 216,584. Duane Howell is retired farm editor of The Avalanche-Journal. He writes daily cotton market reports for DTN/Progressive Farmer. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Source: Lubbock Online