Cotton prices reach new high prior to end of season

Cotton prices have reached a new high, according to a number of cotton industry employees in Alexandria. The price of the Giza 86 variety  is selling at 128 cents and enjoyed increased popularity during the current export season. Giza 88 sells for 148 cents compared to last year’s 131 cents, and the Giza 87 variety goes for 300 cents. These figures represent an increase in all cotton prices from last year.

According to Farouq Obeid, president of commercial affairs at one of Alexandria's cotton export companies, high international demand for Egyptian cotton triggered the price increases. India, China, and Pakistan are currently the leading importers of Egyptian cotton. Obeid also said the decreased supply of US and Panamanian cotton, along with the high quality of Egyptian cotton, contributed to the elevated prices.

The end of the export season later this month coincides with the near exhaustion of export companies’ cotton supply, according to Obeid. He said the new crop will make it to the market by next September.

Obeid criticized the government for not declaring price guarantees on cotton. These guarantees would act as a safeguard for cotton farmers in the event that market prices decrease below those declared by the Ministry of Agriculture. Mohammed Atef, the marketing manager at an Alexandria cotton export company, said price guarantees are one of the most important safety nets for cotton producers against falling world prices.

According to Ahmad al-Basaty, head of the Alexandria Cotton Exporters Association, cotton exports for this season reached nearly 81,402 tons, worth US$197.05 million. Just last week, a deal was made to sell 1,034 tons of cotton, comprised of 725 tons of Giza 86 and 309 tons of Giza 87 cotton.

Al-Basaty said that India, having imported nearly 27,080 tons this season, is the largest importer of Egyptian cotton. China and Pakistan followed with imports of 19,787 and 9,966 tons respectively. Al-Basaty also said Alexandria’s cotton companies, with exports of nearly 465 tons, were the biggest exporters of the product this past week.

El-Houty for Trading General Export Cotton registered the highest export totals with 465 tons, followed by Egy-Cotan companies with 300 tons. Al-Amir and al-Haditha export companies recorded the next highest totals.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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