Pakistan, so far harvested around 13.1 million bales, against the initial forecast of around 13.5-14m bales by the government and private estimates. It is only 5.83 per cent higher than the corresponding period of last season (2012-13) when production stood at 12.378m bales according to official figures for the outgoing fortnight (Jan 15-31).
During the initial period of the current season, phutti arrivals remained as high as 16pc over the previous season. But by the middle of the season and during subsequent pickings, arrivals started dwindling which raised concern among stakeholders and government that the crop would be short. Dwindling phutti (seed cotton) arrivals have dashed the hope of harvesting bumper cotton crop for current season (2013-14).
According to the Cotton analyst Naseem Usman, the major factors which cut the size of cotton crop by 0.5m-1m bales was the damage caused by last yearâ€™s rains and floods in Punjab and pest attack on cotton crop in southern Sindhe. However, the area under cotton cultivation has also declined because with the climate change growers are now shifting to water resistant crops like sugarcane and rice. He suggested that the government should distribute certified genetically modified cotton seed to growers to ensure high yield, free from pest and virus attacks.
Punjab produced around 9.362m bales, or 3.66pc higher cotton over the corresponding period of last season when production stood at 9.031m bales. This means that around 330,750 more bales were produced by the province so far.
Similarly, Sindh produced around 3.738m cotton bales, up by 11.7pc over the same period of last season when the province produced 3.346m bales. As a result, around 391,421 more cotton bales were produced so far against last season.
The phutti flow during the outgoing fortnight was short by 138,752 bales over the last seasonâ€™s flow of 358,201 bales. While the unsold cotton held back by the ginners are around 1.438m bales.
On the other hand, spinners have purchased higher quantity of cotton at 11.462m bales as against 10.698m bales in the same period last season. While exporters also booked a little higher quantity at 343,152 bales compared to 240,886 bales last season.
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