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Prices Recede

Cotton Yields Must Be Raised THE ONSET of the monsoon has not had even the slightest impact on the cotton market where prices continue to hold remarkably firm around their all-time high levels. This is scarcely surprising with all attention being focussed on the prevailing acute shortage. The industry is, in fact, talking about en bloc closure of mills for a month or sc in September/October as there might not be enough cotton left at the end of the current season to carry the mills through till the new season's crop moves into the market and becomes available for consumption. The Commerce Minister is reported to have held out the assurance that the Government would try to arrange larger imports of cotton on an emergency' basis in order to help the industry tide over the difficult situation. Already, as things stand, imports during the current season will be much larger than during 1965-66. By the end of May imports were 5.7 lakh bales, whereas the total quantity imported during 1965- 66 was only 4.87 lakh bales. In any case, it is very clear that, if the carry-over on August 31 happens to be smaller than at the beginning of the season, it will be because of larger mill consumption during 1966- 67, the compulsory holiday (once a week from December 12 to April 9 and once a fortnight thereafter) notwithstanding. The larger consumption is attributable to expansion of spindleage capacity.

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