Ban on cotton export puts Telangana traders in a fix


HYDERABAD/WARANGAL: Cotton traders in Telangana region are in doldrums. While Rs 500 crore worth cotton stocks are stuck in Tamilnadu following the Centre’s ban on exports, the steep fall in the price has hit them hard.

The problems of nearly 2,000 traders in the region had mounted after they bought processed cotton bales from growers in huge bulk but haven’t received payments from TN traders as the stocks were stuck with the ban on exports. The Centre had imposed the ban on export of cotton three months ago because of the elections to five states. “The entire stocks were pending in the TN ginning mills and we are worried as we haven’t received the payments from them,” a trader from Karimnagar rued.

While the growers were on the moon following a bumper harvest this season, the traders were at their wit’s end ruing their fate. “Never in the history of cotton trading we were hit so badly. The uncertainty over the ban of exports and the dipping price would spell our doom,” complained Ch Ramesh, a small cotton trader at Enumamula agricultural market in Warangal.

“We paid Rs 6,670 per quintal to the farmers but we haven’t recovered even half of our investment. The Centre must bail us out by lifting the ban on the exports. Otherwise we would be forced to resort to extreme actions,” warned another trader not wanting to be named. Sources said the traders were done in by the falling price. Last year, a cotton bale (170 kg) fetched a price of Rs 32,000-35,000. Now, the rate is going at Rs 15,000 only. Though Adilabad district alone produced a record 52,000 tonnes, the traders aren’t smiling. “There are 1,000 traders in Adilabad which is the cotton capital of Telangana. After the initial enthusiasm, it’s all gloomy,” a market analyst in Adilabad said.

Asia’s second biggest agricultural market at Enumamula village near Warangal has no cotton transactions in the last 49 days. Worried over the declining price, the traders are not willing to lift the stocks from the farmers. Last year the traders purchased 18.24 lakh quintals from the farmers and this year the purchases were 19.11 lakh quintals.