KARACHI: The country’s cotton production is likely to touch 150 million bales mark this year to provide the textile sector with sustainable stocks for fiscal output, industry sources said on Friday.
“Cotton supplies to markets are starting from Dec 1 [today] which the textile sector estimate about 150 million bales,” they said, adding that the crop report is due on December 3.
Last year the cotton yield was about 148 million bales despite torrential rains that hit the production severely, said a leading trader Naseem Usman, adding that “the cotton crop was also hit by rain this year in Rajanpur, Punjab.”
However, the country’s import of cotton has also surged 7.62 percent or $11.645 million during July-Oct period of the current fiscal year to $164.489 million as compared to the commodity’s import during the same period of last fiscal year of $152.844 million, according to official figures.
“Import of cotton has been made to the size of 1.5 million bales from July to October, mainly from India, Brazil, America and South Africa because of the low prices of the commodity on the world markets,” cotton brokers said.
Pakistan’s export of cotton fell by 29.05 percent or $22.983 million in July-Oct period of the current fiscal year to $57.507 million as compared to the commodity’s export of $80.490 million during the same period of last fiscal year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) indicated.
Usman said the country’s yield for this season is promising as it is expected to surpass the last season’s growth of 148 million bales. He said the cotton price on the local market is hovering between Rs5,600 per maund and Rs6000 per maund.
“It depends on the quality of cotton, the best one is a little expensive,” he said, adding that the cotton imported from India is also available at the same rate but its quality is far better.
He said the global demand for cotton is stagnant, adding that such a trend has enabled the local importers to capitalize on the “favourable” situation. “Import of cotton is growing and export is declining because of the low prices for the commodity on the international market,” he added. Cotton is largely grown in Punjab and Sindh. However, a slight cultivation of cotton is also made in Balochistan, according to Naseem Usman.