KARACHI - The cotton prices in local market have declined by 31 per cent, which would be beneficial to the textile sector. According to analysts, the declining prices of the commodity in international market dampened the prices of cotton in domestic markets. During the past few months the international prices of cotton have tumbled by 34 per cent. Meanwhile, due to worldwide economic slowdown and recession, the demand for Pakistani textile products is expected to fall which would ultimately further reduce the domestic prices of commodity, analysts maintained, adding that the textile sector's gross margins are likely to be high in FY09 due to significant rupee depreciation and low cotton prices. The analysts observed that the local textile industry has been facing problems in terms of higher financial charges, power and gas shortages that resulted in closure of many small textile factories. This crisis has resulted in a significant decline in cotton consumption by local manufacturers. Similarly, with the global economic slowdown, the international cotton prices have also depicted a sharp fall of 34 per cent. Analysts say the textile export of the country have declined by 1 per cent during July to October of FY09 but rupee deprecation has supported the industry as in rupee terms exports of this sector have increased by 24 per cent, but the pressure on export prices of the cotton will be persisted due to recession fears around the world. It may be noted that 75 per cent picking of 'phutti' has been completed from the fields in the country. Meanwhile, information gathered from various sources unveiled that the growers were receiving Rs1470 per 40kg of 'phutti' prices from ginners, which are below the last year's prices of Rs1550-40kg and above. A representative of All Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association said that the ginned cotton was being purchased by Trading Corporation of Pakistan at Rs2,900 to Rs3,200 for 37.34kg. The exportable cotton of grade-3 is being purchased at the prices of Rs3,200 37.34kg by the textile mills. He informed that 9 million bales of cotton have been brought to the market/textile sector till December 15 of this month which were 0.5 million bales more against the arrival of 8.5 milion bales of same period last year. The total production of cotton is expected to be around 12 million bales in current season of FY09 against 11.5 million bales of last season.