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KARACHI: The rate of cotton reached at Rs 9800 per maund which is highest in ten years. Up till now agreements for the import of twenty lac bales of cotton from abroad were signed. It is expected that sixty lac bales will be imported. Active cotton seeds will not be imported from abroad. The support price of cotton will not be fixed.

Views of federal minister in seminar organised in connection with the World Cotton Day creates disappointment among stakeholders. If the situation is not changed, the cotton crisis will escalate in the coming years, experts feared.

In the cotton market during the last week due to the interest in buying of good quality cotton by the textile and spinning mills and increase in the supply of Phutti the rate of cotton reached at Rs 9800 per maund which is highest in ten years. Balochi cotton was sold at Rs 11000 per maund. In the same way increase of Rs 400 per maund was witnessed in the rate of cotton during the last week. The rate of Phutti also increased and reached at the highest level of Rs 5500. The panic like situation was seen among ginners, textile and spinning mills due to the increase in the prices of cotton. Big textile mills were taking interest in importing cotton from abroad because the rate of local cotton is approximately Rs 600 to Rs 800 more than the imported cotton. According to the importers of cotton up till now agreements for the import of twenty lac bales were signed while new agreements were signed on daily basis.

According to statistics released by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association till October 1 around twenty lac bales were produced which is ten lac bales less as compared to last year. According to the experts if the situation remained like this then 60 lac will be imported from abroad. The burden of which will have to be borne by the already ailing economy.

The rate of cotton in Sindh is in between Rs 8400 to Rs 9400 per maund. The rate of Phutti is in between Rs 4000 to Rs 4800 per 40 Kg. The rate of Banola is in between Rs 1700 to Rs 1800 per maund.

The rate of cotton in Punjab is in between Rs 8900 to Rs 9800 per maund while the rate of Phutti is in between RS 3900 to Rs 5100 per 40 Kg. The rate of Banola is in between Rs 1900 to Rs 2200. The rate of cotton in Balochistan is in between Rs 8900 to Rs 9000 while the rate of Phutti of good quality is in between RS 4500 to Rs 5500 per 40 Kg.

The Spot Rate Committee of the Karachi Cotton Association has increased the spot rate by Rs 450 per maund and closed it at Rs 9500 per maund.

Chairman Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Naseem Usman told that bullish trend was witnessed in the international cotton markets. The rate of New York Cotton market increased till Wednesday due to the fears of loss due to Delta hurricane but on Thursday after the release of USDA weekly export report which was unexpectedly negative New York’s cotton fell. The rate of cotton remained stable in Brazil, Argentina, and Sudan while bullish trend was witnessed in the rate of cotton in India.

Moreover, in connection with the World Cotton Day on October 7 an international seminar was held in Lahore which was address by international experts through Zoom.

While a seminar was held in Islamabad on October 8 in collaboration with PCGA, FPCCI and PBIF in which minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam and Advisor to Prime Minister on textile Abdul Razzak Dawood were chief guests.

While addressing the seminar Syed Fakhar Imam stressed on evolving a strategy for increasing the cotton production. He also said incentives should be given to farmers but he said there is no plan of government to import seeds from abroad. The participants were disappointed with this announcement. Despite the fact that for the last many years production of cotton is decreasing due to the low quality seeds.

The people related with cotton were of the view that good quality cotton seeds were not available in the country so good quality seeds should be imported from abroad especially from China. They also suggested that services of experts from China should also be taken.

Advisor to Prime Minister on trade Abdul Razzak Dawood said that there is a misconception about him that he is against farmers this is totally wrong. He said he is the supporter of farmers. He further said that he was against Support Price because after announcing the support price the rate of cotton increased and it will be difficult for the textile industry to compete. The stake holders were also disappointed with the statement of Razzak Dawood because the suggestion of fixing Support Price was seconded by both foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and MNFSR Syed Fakhar Imam.

While addressing the seminar chairman Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association Dr Jissomal Limani, President FPCCI Mian Anjum Nisar, President PBIF Mian Zahid Hussain, Khalid Khokhar, Imad Fayyazud Din and cotton commissioner Khalid Abdullah and ginners gave suggestions for increasing the cotton production. They demanded that availability of good quality cotton seeds should be ensured. They also demanded that since good quality cotton seeds were not produced locally so government should gave permission of importing seeds from China. They further suggested that there should be collaborations in agriculture sector between China and Pakistan.

They stressed on the need for taking steps on war footings for increasing the production of cotton in the country otherwise they said that it is feared that we should rely on imported cotton. They demanded that government should announce support price of cotton as early as possible.

Moreover, chairman APTMA Punjab Abdul Rehman has stressed that government should announce the textile policy for next five years.

Local textile sector has got export orders from abroad in large numbers and five years textile policy will be beneficial. Increase in demand and rate of yarn was witnessed in the local cotton market and there were delays in payments. However, value added sector is performing well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020