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KARACHI: Cotton’s Spot Rate dropped by Rs 400 during the last week. New York Cotton registered an increase of 5 Cent per pound. Partial cotton sowing started in the country. Public and private organizations that are desirous to increase cotton production have become active. FPCCI Raw Cotton Committee submits proposals to the government through FPCCI for increasing cotton production.

The local cotton market remained sluggish during the last week because of cautious buying by the textile mills and ginners’ interest in offloading their stocks. Karachi Cotton Association also further reduced the ‘Spot Rate’ by Rs 400 during the week and closed it at Rs 10,800 per maund.

According to a report by the PCGA only 85,000 bales have left in stock while International Markets remained volatile due to which there is a very thin activity in the local cotton market. Principally in such a situation, cotton prices should be increased but the reduction in dollar worth against Pak rupee and dip in cotton yarn rates led to sluggish business in cotton and yarn markets.

The local cotton market remained bearish last week because of the decision of importing cotton, yarn and sugar from India.

The tension between APTMA and Value Added sector though reduced a bit, the value-added sector is still demanding that the government should allow the import of yarn besides abolishing the custom duty completely which at present is just 5 per cent. APTMA is claiming that cotton yarn is in abundance in the country but their counter lobby is saying that APTMA and the spinning sector has made a cartel to avert any decline in yarn prices.

Cotton prices in Sindh are from 10200-10500 per maund, Phutti is almost finished and its rate is between 4800-5200 per maund. Cotton rate in Punjab is 10,500 to 10,800 per maund and again very little Phutti quantity is left in Punjab as well. The rate of Phutti in Punjab is 4800 to 5800 per maund. Cotton stocks are finished in Balochistan but Phutti is coming from Dalbadin in that province and its rate is from 6000-6200 per maund.

Karachi Cotton Association reduced ‘Spot Rate’ by Rs 400 during the week and it ended at Rs 10,800 per maund.

Karachi Cotton Broker Forum Chairman Usman Naseem said that the international markets witnessed both ups and downs. Cotton prices in New York Market which had dipped to 77 Cent per Pound the other week again rose to 82 Cent per Pound. USDA weekly report also showed significant exports and China bought some 31,000 bales of cotton while Vietnam remained second and then Pakistan. It showed despite an economic tussle, China is buying cotton for its requirement from the USA. Brazil, Central Asia and African markets showed a mixed week while ups and downs were also witnessed in the prices of cotton in India.

Naseem Usman also noted that both public and private organizations that are desirous to increase cotton production have become active since the sowing season has started in Pakistan. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar also have launched their efforts in this regard.

Governor Punjab chaired a meeting of a special committee which was also attended by the Federal Minister for Food Security & Research Syed Fakhar Imam and Punjab Agriculture Minister Hussain Jehanian Gardezi. The meeting assured to take steps for increasing cotton production while it also recommended fixing support price for cotton at Rs 5,000 per maund. It also suggested giving a subsidy of Rs 15,000 per acre to cotton growers. These steps will definitely prove encouraging for the cotton growers.

Likewise, Khawaja Jalal Uddin Roomi who is head of Dera Ghazi Khan Chamber and in the past also headed Multan Chamber had also appealed to the government to take steps for increasing cotton production.

Moreover, private sector representatives such as Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association Chairman Seth Jasomal also remained active to press the government to take steps to increase cotton production.

FPCCI Standing Committee on Cotton’s Convener Malik Talat Hussain also arranged a sitting in Bahawalpur which was attended by the ginners and other stakeholders of the cotton sector and this gathering prepared a set of recommendations which was presented to the government through FPCCI.

Cotton analyst Muddabir Shah and Ginners Forum Chairman Ehtesham ul Haq also submitted their proposals in this regard through print and electronic media.

Likewise, Khawaja Muhammad Ilyas who remained in ginning sector for 40 years and represent a big textile group also suggested some measures in a television interview to increase cotton production. Major Muhammad Kashif has also raised the flag to save the declining cotton crop and he is also pointing out all those factors and people who were responsible for the decline of this crop. He is also using social media to create awareness among the growers.

Karachi Cotton Broker Forum through pages of ‘Business Recorder’ and by using other platforms is also trying to increase cotton production. It seemed that some work had started in this direction. However, there are certain issues still persisting such as the availability of quality certified seed of cotton. Traders from Umer Kot (Sindh) disclosed that numerous companies had come into the field with cottonseed while some ginners had also produced their own seed. It seemed that they have come to this field because the last season was very bad for the cotton crop and they thought there might be a shortage of seed so they can make some silver by bringing their own seed to the market. However, that traders jokingly said that now sellers of cottonseed are more than buyers and sellers might be selling this seed like a street vendor sell items.

Federal Agriculture Committee (FAC) on Thursday fixed the cotton sowing target at 2.33 million hectares with a production estimate of 10.5 million bales. However, these are just estimated as the cotton area is declining for the last many years as sugarcane and in some areas, maize has replaced this crop. Let’s see what happens this year with our fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, FPCCI’s Regional Standing Committee on Cotton and Textile also held a meeting which was also attended by the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad President Chaudhry Muhammad Anwar said the input cost of cotton had increased manifold as compared to other crops. He said that pesticide cost is higher as compared to the international markets; there is a shortage of certified seed while research institutes are dormant.

Textile Millers’ representatives claimed that the quality of Pakistani cotton has declined as compared to other countries. Cotton Ginners also submitted their point of view on the decline of their sector because of the availability of raw material.

Committee member Dr. Qaiser Rasheed presented a report on the decline of the cotton sector. Committee member and President Farmer Vision Khawaja Muhammad Shoaib presented his report on fake pesticide and the incompetence of research institutes. Major Kashif (retd) presented a report on the marketing side of cotton and depletion in this sector due to quality.

Committee members Seth Prem Chand, Abdus Sattar Memon, Seth Sonomal Sakaija also held PCGS responsible for the deterioration in cotton. Malik Sarfraz assured the meeting that FPCCI Standing Committee will continue playing its role in improving the cotton in the country.

FPCCI Raw Cotton Committee Convener Atif Dada also arranged a zoom meeting to discuss ways and means to improve cotton production in the country. The meeting presented various proposals such as the provision of certified quality seed, elimination of fake pesticide and whether to implement the proposal of a free-market system in cotton instead of fixing the spot rate. It also proposed to determine the acreage for sowing cotton and zoning for cotton crop.

The meeting presented these proposals to the FPCCI President to take these up with the government so as to remove impediments in the way of increasing cotton production and formulation of a policy for the next cotton season.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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