Pakistan, the neighbouring country has so far imported over 13 lakh bales worth Rs 2,000 crore from India is now banking on Gujarat, the largest cotton production state that accounts for more than 7 lakh bales worth over Rs1,000 crore to meet its requirement as it faces a substantial drop in cotton production.
Interestingly , Pakistan garnered the lion's share of 46.6% of total 28.54 lakh bales exported from India during October-December 2015.
This year Pakistan has emerged as the largest buyer, a development which has buoyed distressed cotton growers and exporters in Gujarat. According to Arun Dalal, a city based cotton dealer, imports from Pakistan have helped exporters make up for the shortfall created by lower off take from China, the biggest cotton importer in the world.
Nirav Patel, director, Ambica Cotseed, a citybased export house said that they have exported around 1 lakh bales to Pakistan and all of them from Gujarat. They expect exports to Pakistan to increase further .
In wake of heavy rains in June-July 2015, especially in the cotton belt of Punjab and increased pest pressure of whitefly and pink bollworm, cotton production in Pakistan declined by an estimated 30% to 10.85 million bales for 2015-16 as against initial estimates of 15.49 million bales.
Kiran Patel, managing director, Pravin Group. Said that between November to December, they exported 70,000 bales of cotton to Pakistan including 15,000 bales from Maharashtra. Last year there was no demand.
On an average, Pakistan buys only 3-4 lakh bales from India. This year the cotton exports to Pakistan may reach a record. For any cotton going out of India, Gujarat takes the lead. Already a good quantity has been exported and it would not be surprising to see cotton exports to Pakistan crossing 20 lakh bales this year, said P R Roy , chairman, Diagonal Consulting India, a textile advisory firm.
Increased buying from Pakistan has also pushed up prices of cotton to Rs 34,500 per candy (one candy weighs 356 kg), which were around Rs 32,000 per candy couple of months back.
China, Bangladesh and Vietnam are the traditional cotton importers from Gujarat.
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