By admin       2018-03-09

Cotton prices maintained their fully steady posture on Thursday due to dwindling stocks of which there may be less than 600,000 bales left for sales with the ginners. Most of the remaining cotton stocks are said to be of lower quality, which also remain of interest for the spinners as international prices have reportedly risen again. This week the price of premium cotton, whatever is left of in, is said to have risen by Rs 300 per maund (37.32 Kgs) locally, Seed cotton (Kapas/Phutti) prices in Sindh, what is left of it, are reported to have ranged from Rs 2400 to Rs 3100 per 40 Kgs on Thursday, according to the quality, while in the Punjab they are said to have ranged from Rs 2600 to Rs 3100 per 40 Kgs, as per quality. Lint prices in Sindh are said to have ranged from Rs 6000 to Rs 7800 per maund on Thursday, while Punjab lint prices reportedly ranged from Rs 6300 to Rs 7800 per maund, according to the quality. Business is said to have been on the low side. Nearly 4200 bales of cotton are said to have been sold today. This season (August 2017/July 2018) Pakistan is likely to produce nearly 11.6 million bales (155 Kgs) of cotton. The sowing of the forthcoming cotton crop in Sindh is likely to begin from the start of April 2018. Growers are likely to sow more cotton during the forthcoming season (August 2018/July 2019). Yarn sales are presently progressing steadily. In reported sales on Thursday, 600 bales of cotton from Daharki in Sindh reportedly sold at Rs 7800 per maund (37.32 Kgs). Later, 800 bales from Mirpurkhas Mathelo sold at Rs 7500 per maund. In the Punjab, 600 bales from Layya sold at Rs 7200 per maund, while 1000 bales each from Rahimyar Khan and Khanpur are said to have been sold at Rs 7800 per maund. As only about 50,000 to 60,000 of good quality cotton from the current season may have been left unsold, demand for quality cotton is fully sustained. Yarns are also selling steadily and traders in Karachi added that there is an improvement in yarn sales. A serious issue of higher gas prices in Punjab compared to the other provinces remains unsolved despite many pleas by the textile manufacturers in the Punjab. They have again vehemently pleaded to the government to remove this anomaly and injustice and fix the price of gas uniformly throughout the country. Various textile sectors in Punjab have also pleaded to the government that the discrimination must be removed immediately and the price of gas should be uniform throughout the country at Rs 600 per MMBTU. On the global economic and financial front, President Donald Trump announced on last Thursday that America would impose import tariffs on certain items which are hurting the American economy. Such unilateral steps could not only unsettle and harm the globalization which has been slowly and carefully built over the past six or seven decades. President Trump announced on Thursday that he intends to impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium to protect the American producers. Such a step would ipso facto bring immediate retaliation from major trade partners as neighbouring Canada, besides China and Europe. Initially such an announcement triggered a selloff on Wall Street and some other bourses around the world, though it somewhat subsided over the course of time. However, the fears of a trade war on a large scale has disturbed many economists, investors and governments and also knocked down the American dollar. In the first instance, the European Union threatened to impose import duties on American peanut butter, Cranberries and orange juice if America imposes tariff on steel and aluminium. Furthermore, the Trade commissioner of the European Union, Cecilia Malmstrom is reported to have stated that Brussels would take the U.S. tariff case to the World Trade Organisation in conjunction with its other trade partners. European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has already declared that an initial list of American goods has been drawn up to which tighter tariffs would be applied on their import into Europe. Earlier on March 1, 2018, president Trump had announced that he would be signing a tariff of 25 percent on steel and ten percent on aluminium imported into America. In this regard, Larry Summer, a former government functionary under presidents Clinton and Obama, called the tariffs the "most irrational economic policy that any president has introduced in the last half century". It is yet to be seen if any exemption is granted to trading partners like Canada, Mexico and the European Union. On its part, the Wall Street Journal has reported the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel as saying that "There is a lot of concern in America Republican senators that this could metastasize into larger trade wars." With an escalating fear of a trade war, The Guardian has reported that "China promises necessary response to U.S. tariffs as trade war fears grow". In this regard, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has warned that "the only outcome from Trump's protectionist measures will be harmful". In this situation, it is pertinent to note that the White House Chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has resigned from President Trump's administration. Cohn reportedly decided to quit after Trump announced that he would impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. On the issue of imposing import tariffs, president Trump has declared that "Trade wars are good".

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