Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
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While earlier in the week the cotton prices were relatively on the tight side, a reaction was seen to have set in on Thursday as prices pared the gains. Thus on Thursday the ready cotton market presented a mixed tone. It may be recalled that cotton prices on the New York cotton futures market had generally ranged from about 67 to 75 cents a pound for the frontal months, on Thursday it was reported that frontal month price for ICE Futures Cotton No. 2 has retreated by half to one cent per pound in the evening for some time while the session was still in progress.

The price for seed cotton (Kapas/Phutti) from Sindh was reported to range from Rs 2600 to Rs 2800 per 40 Kgs on Thursday, according to the quality. Sindh seed cotton containing more moisture was said to be selling even at Rs 2100/Rs 2300 per 40 Kgs. In the Punjab, seed cotton was said to be selling from Rs 2600 to Rs 2900 per 40 Kgs, according to the quality.

Ginned cotton from Sindh was said to be selling from Rs 6100 to Rs 6150 per maund (37.32 Kgs) on Thursday, according to the quality. In the Punjab, lint was reportedly selling from Rs 6200 to Rs 6250 per maund, according to the quality. Cotton prices have been moving up and down since the past two or three days.

The 2017/2018 cotton crop production may range from 12 to 12.5 million bales (155 Kgs). Upto now, no serious damage has been reported to the standing crop. Water supply from the rivers has been relatively low up to now, but several rain showers during the previous several weeks have increased the water supply to the cotton fields in several areas.

On Thursday, cotton consultant Naseem Usman informed that about 5000 bales of cotton from Sindh were sold at prices ranging from Rs 6100 to Rs 6150 per maund (37.32 Kgs), according to the quality. In the Punjab, about 4000 bales of cotton were sold at prices ranging from Rs 6200 to Rs 6250 per maund, according to the quality. Yarn and textile prices are reported to be very weak.

Mr. Abdul Sattar Balagamwala, the Managing Partner of M/s Balagamwala Cotton and Pressing Factory and also Former Chairman of the Karachi Cotton Association, (KCA) passed away on 5th of September 2017. He rendered valuable services to the cotton trade and the KCA. The late Mr. Sattar Balagamwala as a senior cotton merchant and enjoyed a very good reputation in cotton trade. He was very humble, sincere and highly respected by the cotton community. May Allah Almighty bless his soul and provide patience and fortitude to the members of his family and friends.

On the global economic and financial front, several equity indices around the world fell at mid-week fearing rising tensions in North Korea and fears that showdown in Washington over the United States budget and federal debt ceiling impasse in the American Congress would suspend government funding. However, President Donald Trump finalized a debt ceiling deal with Democrats which would enable hurricane disaster relief funding and also raising the debt ceiling to rehabilitate the people and also the vast economic disaster resulting from the historically high devastations ensuing from the hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Thus earlier this week investors on the bourses were weary of the North Korean tensions as well as the difficulty of the American Government's ability in arranging for the funding of the government's spending to tackle the devastation wrought by the two hurricanes.

We thus saw that on last Tuesday and Wednesday Wall Street suffered big losses due to the scary headlines pertaining to the North Korean tensions. Similarly, the Chinese stocks also look a dip earlier in the week. The Nikkei index was reported to have fallen for the third day since the beginning of this week due to what has been called the lingering worries pertaining to the ongoing nuclear crisis.

Hong Kong stocks dipped similarly last Wednesday following declines in other world markets as investors followed a profit taking spree. However, reports from Sydney informed that Australian shares closed down on Wednesday because of the problems being faced by the Common Wealth Bank of Australia over a money laundering scandal.

A Reuter report from Mumbai stated that share prices fell on Wednesday and the Indian rupee dipped to its weakest level in three weeks against the dollar as tensions over North Korea's recent nuclear test continued to dampen the investor sentiments globally. Similarly, the Southeast Asian markets were also subdued due to the North Korean nuclear conundrum.

On Thursday the equity markets started to move up at opening time but later became volatile with increasing fluctuations. Bloomberg reported that "the dollar tumbled and Treasuries rallied as investors sounded a note of caution with Hurricane Irma barrelling toward Florida and North Korea issuing threats. The euro strengthened after the European central bank signalled prolonged stimulus". It appears that the global economy is not yet moving towards the desired growth and stability.

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