Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
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Cotton prices reached steadiness this week in the domestic market following rains in Sindh and also in several parts of the cotton belt in the Punjab. There were showers in Sindh, particularly in lower Sindh in such stations as Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Shahdadpur and Nawabshah which could damage the standing crop due to stagnant water.

In the Punjab, rains were reported in some stations including Harunabad, Bahawalnagar, Multan, Bahawalpur, Mian Channu, Chichawatni, Khanewal, Vihari, Burewalla and Rahimyar Khan. Fears of flower shedding were reported on the standing crop. Traditionally, cotton growers remain wary of pest infection on the crop in the month of September.

Due to Eid-ul-Azha holidays declared by the government from the first to fourth of September, 2017, both days inclusive, several mills lifted cotton stocks prior to holidays as trucks also charge more for hauling cotton from the ginning factories to the mills.

On Thursday, the seed cotton (Kapas/Phutti) prices in Sindh are said to have ranged from Rs 2500 to Rs 2750 per 40 Kgs, according to the quality, while in the Punjab the seed cotton prices are reported to have ranged from Rs 2550 to Rs 2750 per 40 Kilogrammes.

The price of ginned cotton from Sindh is said to have ranged from Rs 5950 to Rs 6000 per maund (37.32 Kgs), while in the Punjab it was reported to have ranged from Rs 6050 to Rs 6100 per maund, according to the quality.

The 2017/2018 cotton crop is estimated to be 12 to 12.5 million bales (155 Kgs) on an ex-gin basis. It weather remains cloudy and further rains are received on the maturing crop, there are fears that different types of pests like Jassid, White Fly, Pink Boll Worm or other viruses may inflict the crop. Further rains could also damage the crop in the riverine areas. Besides Pakistan, extra rains have even poured in such areas as Texas and Louisiana in the United States and also in India.

Traders reported that 200 bales of cotton from Burewala and 400 bales from Khanewal, both in Punjab, were sold on Thursday at Rs 6100 per maund (37.32 Kgs) in a steady market.

On the global economic and financial front, no doubt there continue to be several drags and difficulties which cast a negative impression concerning a wider economic revival, but several facts and features also present a more positive impression concerning sustained revival of the global economy.

On the negative side, there has been the declining faith and confidence in the modus operandi on administering America by President Donald Trump. Some polls put the confidence level by the Americans in their President at only 36 percent. The other drag in the recovery of the global economy includes the long-drawn and tedious progress of the Brexit talks between the United Kingdom and the Eurozone authorities which could go beyond a decade from today.

Thirdly, the persistent missile rattling in and around the Korean Peninsula by North Korea appears as a serious strategic issue to the United States, Japan and South Korea. North Korea has unsettled many countries in the region and is also deemed dangerous around the world.

More recently, the horrendous tropical hurricane Harvey has wreaked widespread damage and human misery in southeast United States particularly targeting Texas and now shifting to the adjacent state of Louisiana in America. With about 50 inches of rainfall poured over Texas, more than half a million people have been dislocated and are expected to seek assistance. The havoc wreaked on Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, is nothing short of being a terrible tragedy which has also destroyed a large part of the economy of Houston and several other parts of Texas.

Countless people have been trapped in Houston following the rainfall poured by the storm Harvey. Roads in Houston have turned into rivers where the trapped residents are also facing looters who are active and have also reached from other states of America. The oil-based economy of Texas has also received a big blow. The storm Harvey has been estimated amongst the five most costly storms ever which have pushed up the damage bill at 42 dollars.

At mid-week, the equity markets around the world picked up courage to bear the loss and dislocation inflicted by Harvey as confidence started being restored. Thus Wall Street rose on Tuesday as fear over North Korean missile rattling was absorbed and equity values even extended on Wednesday. European stocks bounced back as strong earnings were reported to be in focus. Britain's FTSE firmed up as financials also rose. South Asia stocks were also reported to be largely up. Lastly, Tokyo shares and Indian stocks also soared at midweek.

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