LAHORE: The market remained lackluster on Saturday. Transaction volume remained low. Cotton analyst Naseem Usman said fluctuations have been seen in the international cotton market. He also said that the cotton rate in Punjab and Sindh is between Rs 18,000 and Rs 21,000 per maund.
Punjab is facing extreme canal water scarcity of up to 79 percent of the planned quota, while the newly installed provincial government seems the least concerned about the situation, farmers’ representatives have claimed. Cotton planting in many parts of South Punjab is three to four weeks late due to abnormal drop in canal water.
Despite improvements in the Indus and Kabul rivers, water is not being supplied to canals in southern Punjab, further exacerbating water scarcity in parched fields, Farooq Bajwa, founding chairman of the Council of Punjab water.
“In the midst of the hottest summer ever, we are being forced to bear the brunt of the drought situation in the absence of much needed channel supplies,” he said, and added that “Our difficulties are multiplied when we see a deafening silence at the head of affairs on one of the most burning issues in the hinterland of Punjab, comprising the division of Bahawalpur along the Cholistan desert. Are we not equal citizens of the province or country?
Farmers in Punjab, especially those living in the south comprising the main cotton growing area, feel alienated when it comes to the availability of water for drinking as well as for agricultural purposes. irrigation. Currently, from the Chairman of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) to the Federal Minister of Water Resources, the regulation of river supply is governed and managed by people belonging to Sindh.
At the provincial level, with the PML-N government focusing mainly on urban areas, the rural population was falling short of meeting their pressing needs, Bajwa lamented.
The Punjab canals were facing extreme deficit. The Taunsa canals (DGK and MZG) received 3,000 cusecs against a request of 12,000 cusecs, showing a deficit of 75%. Similarly, Panjnad also received 3,000 cusecs against 14,000 cusecs requests, registering a deficit of 79%.
The Trimmu canal received 8,700 cusecs against a request of 17,000 cusecs, a deficit of 49%. Bahawal Canal’s deficit was 78% as it only received 1,100 cusecs against 5,052 cusecs.
Bilal Israel, director of Farmers Associates of Pakistan (FAP), originally from Rahim Yar Khan, was of the opinion that the sowing of cotton in Rahim Yar Khan, the main silver fiber producing region of the country, braved the harshest conditions. dries never recorded due to extremely low channel. Provisions.
He said there was no flow of river diversions from Indus area to South Punjab as Taunsa-Punjnad Link (TP Link) and Chashma-Jhelum Link (CJ Link) channel were always closed.
He regretted that farmers in Punjab are struggling under the scorching sun amid extreme water scarcity in the canals and unable to meet irrigation needs at the crucial sowing and early planting stage.
No one at the water regulation stage cared about their problems. As southern Punjab reels in severe heatwave conditions, water scarcity becomes unbearable.
Low flows have exacerbated the situation to unbearable levels, he observed. Despite the surplus water available in the Indus and Kabul rivers, the Punjab indentations were not being respected, he claimed.
Meanwhile, ICE cotton futures extended their decline to fall more than 2% in a technical selloff on Friday accelerated by concerns over natural fiber demand.
Cotton contracts for July fell 4.11 cents, or 2.8%, to 144.62 cents a pound at 12:12 p.m. EDT.
The contract is on track for a 0.4% decline for the week, in volatile price action that saw it trade lower in the previous session as the dollar rallied, a day after hit an 11-year high due to supply issues.
“We’re seeing some sell-off in the market and there’s no stopping it…People are trying to get back to where the prices were and some are also trying to get some good deals,” said Jim Nunn, owner of Nunn Cotton , a Tennessee-based cotton brokerage firm. “We could see some demand destruction as there is no more cotton to deliver.”
U.S. equity indices extended losses for a second day as high Treasury yields lifted growth stocks after stronger-than-expected jobs data amplified investor fears of a bigger rate hike interest in controlling soaring prices. The decline in cotton could also be a “stock market flu; a drop there is likely to backfire and affect commodities,” Nunn added.
Weighing further on sentiment, Chicago wheat futures fell 1% on Friday, but the market was on course for a weekly gain as tighter global supplies supported prices.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Thursday showed 2021/2022 net sales of 232,400 bales of cotton pending, up 92% from the previous week and significantly higher than the 4-week average. previous.
The spot rate remained unchanged at Rs 21,000 per maund. Polyester fiber was available at Rs 290 per kg.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022