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Sale of imported cotton commences from Tuticorin port

With spinning mills in Tamil Nadu producing the largest quantity of yarn in the country are faced with the chronic problem of price stability of cotton, the Shipping Ministry has set up a Transhipment facility at V O Chidambaranar Port for storing 250 container loads of imported cotton at any given time. The facility will ensure timely supplies of raw materials to the spinning mills at a reasonable cost

The imported cotton can be stored in the facility for thirty days free of cost and the importer given the facility either to cater to consumption of spinning mills in Tamil Nadu or elsewhere in the country or any other country in the neighborhood depending on demand. VOC Port Tuticorin has also waived certain charges for cotton shipment through the port.

The transhipment facility would bring about price stability in cotton prices for the spinning mills largely depend on imported sources. With transhipment facility in place, it will bring about price stability, as imported cotton will be available on demand from the port to the hinterland, where the mills are situated.

This would help to minimise losses due to price volatility and currency fluctuations according to sources in South India Mills Association (SIMA), a premier organisation of the textile industry in South India.

While the requirement of the textile mills in Tamil Nadue for cotton is assessed at 120 lakhs bales annually, the state hardly grows five lakh bales and rest used to be brought from Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Telangana. A sizeable percentage of cotton is imported from African countries, United States and Australia.

SIMA had tried out several steps to facilitate coastal movement of cotton from Gujarat and Maharashtra to reduce freight costs. It has also impressed up the Commerce Ministry to set up a Free Trade Zone facility at Tuticorin port.

The Shipping Ministry, instead has faciliated the setting up of transhipment facility with one of the container terminals of Tuticorin port.

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