MUMBAI, March 19 (Reuters) - Cotton prices in India, the
world's second-largest producer, are seen trading steady to weak
this week due to a slowdown in exports at higher prices, but
declining domestic supplies and firm international markets are
seen supporting prices.
The April cotton futures contract on the Multi
Commodity Exchange (MCX) ended 0.63 percent up at 19,160 rupees
per bale of 170 kg each.
"Due to higher domestic prices fresh export orders have
slowed down," said Arunbhai Dalal, a trader from Ahmedabad in
The government, through the Cotton Advisory Board, has
estimated 8 million bales of exports for the year to Sept. 30,
of which traders estimate 6.5-7 million bales to have already
Cotton supplies to spot markets across the country are at
around 100,000 bales per day, down from 200,000 bales per day at
the start of February, according to traders.
Cotton supplies since the beginning of the year in October
2012 until March 10, 2013 were at 22.56 million bales, down from
23.73 million bales a year earlier, the Cotton Corporation said
on its website.
On Tuesday, the most-traded domestic spot Shankar-6 variety
closed 400 rupees lower at 38,700 rupees per candy of 356 kg as
compared with Saturday's close, data from the Cotton Association
of India showed.
The government has procured around 2.5 million bales of
cotton and spot traders expect it to start releasing the
procured stocks from April when local supplies would completely
In New York, the most active May contract on the
Intercontinental Exchange was up 0.08 percent at 90.90 cents per
lb at 1238 GMT.
China, the world's top consumer of cotton, will issue extra
import quotas to textile mills by around April after purchases
for the government's stockpile cut domestic supplies, trade
sources said on Friday.
(Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)