Poor cotton production this season push govt to import 50m bales cotton

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-03-04 15:00:00 – Lahore

Pakistan’s cotton production during this season to March 1 has decline by 33.85 percent to 9.727 million bales due to pest attacks, inferior inputs and lowering yields which continues to hit the crop. In the same period of last year, it produced 14.705 million bales.

According Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) figures issued on Thursday, cotton output reduced to 5.951 million bales in Punjab from 10.741 million bales harvested a year earlier. Sindh’s production dropped marginally to 3.766 million bales, compared with 3.964 million bales last year.

Ginners said cotton production remained static at 13-14 million bales over the past few years.

Heavy rains and poor seeds have taken toll on the cotton crop across the growing regions of Pakistan due to which it will import 50 million tons of cotton this year.

Given the demand of 1.5 million bales annually in the textile sector, government needs to import another 50 million bales. By far, cotton worth 43 million rupees has already been imported.

According to Shahzad Ali Khan, Chairman PCGA, price slump amid global slowdown is hitting cotton harder than many other commodities. The lower prices have not only led many farmers to plant less cotton, but prompted the textile industry to rely on more imports.

Cotton analysts said the spinners and millers were importing raw cotton and yarn from India, Brazil and the United States following crop shortfall.

Domestic consumption of cotton is more than 15 million bales a year. Farmer and ginners are strictly at the mercy of the domestic and global markets as it’s going to be very difficult for cotton producers and ginners given the challenges they both are facing.

PCGA is seeking stimulus from the government to increase cotton production in the country. They have urged the government to provide quality seeds to growers in order to improve crop output. Also a ban should be imposed on import of cotton till the next arrival of the crop.

The PCGA data showed that the unsold stocks held with the ginners for the fortnight period ended March 1 stood at 0.8 million bales.

Cotton crop for the current fiscal year is estimated at 10.9 million (170 kg) bales, falling well below the target of 15 million bales.

The government reduced the cotton output target for the next season. The government has fixed cotton production target for 2016/17 at 14.101 million bales, which is lower from the 15 million bales set for the current season.

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