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KARACHI: The local cotton market stable on Monday. Market sources told that trading volume was low.

Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that Pakistan is struggling to achieve a decent cotton output this year if the arrival of 5.5 million bales reported by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Jan 18 .

Overall, the country’s cotton production is estimated to decline during the present marketing year by almost a third to 5.7m bales from 8.3m bales last year and 60pc from 13.9m bales in 2014. The cotton arrivals from Punjab are reported to have dropped by 30.6pc and Sindh by 38.7pc.

According to PCGA Chairman Jassu Mal, the phutti arrivals at the ginning factories are the lowest in more than three decades resulting in the closure of 800 factories out of a total of 1,200, loss of tens of thousands of jobs and reduced income for cotton-picker women.

There are multiple factors for the decline in the production of cotton, which provides livelihoods to 1.2m farmers who grow the white gold on around 8m acres mainly in Punjab and Sindh. A large part of the rural economy, and textile & clothing exports, which constitute nearly 60pc of the country’s total overseas shipments, are dependent on locally grown cotton. The massive fall in the cotton production, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data for the first half of the current fiscal year, has led the textile industry to import 331,560 tonnes of cotton worth $532.1m compared with the last year’s imports of 49,573 tonnes valuing at $86.9m.

Naseem told that on 31st January 2021, Last day of first Month of New Year, Indian cotton crop year today completed 123 days 34%.

Estimated new cotton crop arrival during this period touched 235 lakh bales of 170 kg. 65% of estimated crop that is 360 lakh bales.

Meanwhile, ICE Cotton future Now at 80.63 Cents and $ at 72.90 Rupees. Most of International analysts see ICE Cotton well supported due to tight current cotton balance sheet of USA cotton. And less sowing prospect of new crop. But I see this reason already factored to market.

Naseem also told that rate of cotton in Sindh was in between Rs 10,000 to Rs 10,700 per maund. The rate of cotton in Punjab is in between Rs 10,200 to Rs 11000 per maund. He also told that Phutti of Sindh was sold in between Rs 3800 to Rs 5000 per 40 kg. The rate of Phutti in Punjab is in between Rs 3500 to Rs 5400 per 40 Kg.

The rate of Banola in Sindh was in between Rs 1600 to Rs 2000 while the price of Banola in Punjab was in between Rs 1800 to Rs 2250. The rate of cotton in Balochistan is Rs 10,000 per maund.

The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 10,800 per maund. The rate of Polyester Fiber was increased by 2 per kg and was available at Rs 195 per Kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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