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October 19, 2019

Cotton arrivals down 27 percent to 4.44 million bales till Oct 15


October 19, 2019

KARACHI: Cotton arrivals in factories have dropped by almost 27 percent till October 15 compared to last year, a report said on Friday, due to the heavy rains that disturbed the cultivation of the important cash crop this year.

According to Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, arrivals in ginning factories were down 26.54 percent to 4.44 million bales by October 15, compared with 6.04 million bales that arrived in factories by this time last year.

Sources in the industry told The News that the country required imports of around 5.0 million bales worth $1.5 billion this year, of which deals were finalised for imports of more than 2.0 million bales.

This year, the country has also been importing lint from Afghanistan after opening of Torkham border.

Out of total arrivals in the factories, 4.33 million bales were sold to textile mills and 75,797 bales to exporters. A total of 1.20 million bales remained unsold.

This year’s fortnightly flow (October 1-15) has been recorded at 1.50 million bales against 2.02 million bales during the corresponding period last year.

Arrivals from Sindh were down 18.15 percent at 2.39 million bales, compared with 2.92 million bales last year, while arrivals from Punjab remained down by 34.37 percent to 2.04 million bales from 3.12 million bales last year.

Highest arrivals were recorded from Sanghar with 1.0 million bales followed by Bahawalnagar with 3.12 million bales.

Meanwhile, Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has estimated cotton production of 10.2 million bales, which would be 32 percent short of the first federal target.

The committee, earlier this month, assessed total production estimate of 10.2 million bales, of which 6.2 million bales would come from Punjab, and 3.9 million bales from Sindh, while only 0.1 million bales were expected from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), on the other hand, has urged the federal government to abolish 11 percent taxes on import of cotton. Otherwise, it said it would be difficult to compete in the international market.

APTMA leaders said Pakistan’s cotton crop was estimated 33 percent short at 10.2 million bales against first estimates of 15 million bales.

“Country was in need to import at least 5.0 million bales worth $1.5 billion to fulfil its requirements,” they said.

Stakeholders said Pakistan’s cotton consumption demand has increased to 16 million bales, while local cotton production remained stagnant at 11 to 12 million bales for the last many years.

In last 10 years, Pakistan has twice crossed production of 14 million bales during the years of 2014-15 and 2011-12.

Yield in the country also remains low. Countries like Australia, China and Brazil are

getting above 1,700kg lint per hector, whereas yield per hectare in Pakistan remains only 680kg.

“Due to lack of quality and quantity, country is compelled to spend about $1.0 billion annually on import of cotton, which can be saved if proper attention is given on quality and yield of our cotton crop,” said a stakeholder.