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Low cotton arrivals force ginners in Maharashtra to remain idle

Most cotton ginning and pressing factories in Maharashtra are functioning at 50 per cent capacity because of low arrivals of cotton in the market. Farmers have sold only 40 per cent of their stocks in the ongoing season and are still holding on to 60 per cent of their produce. Moreover, several petty traders from Gujarat have been purchasing cotton from Maharashtra, resulting in low arrivals.

There is a lot of disparity in the market as a result of which ginning and pressing units are finding it difficult to keep their units up and running. Maharashtra has over 1,100 units and only 450 units are functioning at 50 per cent capacity. This is because farmers are not getting the price they want and holding on to their stocks for better prices.

Maharashtra processes about 80 lakh bales annually. Around 60,000 laborers are working in these units and most of the units are located in Marathwada. Maharashtra has a capacity of producing one crore bales. Farmers have sold some 80 lakh quintals of cotton to traders so far. Because of the low arrival position, ginning and pressing units are expected to close early this season, by February. Factory owners are making losses of Rs 75,000 per 100 bales and are finding it difficult to survive.