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KARACHI: It is expected that cotton crop will be affected due to rise in temperature and scarcity of water. Unprecedented fluctuation was observed in the rate of New York Cotton. The rate of New York cotton after reaching at the highest level of 155.95 per pound closed at 144.62 per pound. There are rumours that India may put a partial ban on export of cotton. The local spinners should be cautious while importing cotton during the next season.

There were two working days in this week when the local market opened after Eid holidays on Friday. However, the stock of cotton in the country is almost over. There is hardly any trading activity in the local cotton market.

According the information received from the lower areas of Sindh the situation of availability of water has improved in some areas but it is expected that arrival of cotton will be late as compared to previous years. In the upper Sindh problem of availability of water continues despite the claims of Indus River System Authority regarding release of water.

In Punjab there is information regarding shortage of water in the cotton producing areas of the province. However, there are chances that high temperature can affect the cotton crop. Cotton cultivation area has increased in the country. If the weather conditions remained favourable and if it rained timely then there are chances that cotton production will be good.

It is suggested that related government departments should take steps on war footings for increasing the production of cotton in the country.

However, in the international cotton market unprecedented fluctuation was observed. Market was closed on higher rates as compared to last week. There was fluctuation in the New York cotton market which played the role of barometer in the cotton market bullish trend prevailed in the market.

During the last week rate of future trading after increasing reached at the highest level of 155.95 American cents. According to the weekly USDA weekly export report two lac thirty two thousand and four hundred bales of cotton were sold which is 92 percent more as compared to last week. China was on number one with more than ninety thousand bales, Vietnam was on number two with more than sixty five thousand bales and Thailand was on number third with more than twenty four thousand bales.

More than ninety three thousand bales of cotton for the year 2022- 23 were sold.

Bullish trend prevailed in the rate of cotton all over the world especially in India which is the biggest producer of cotton. Despite that Indian government had abolished 11 percent import duty on the import of cotton from abroad till September the prices of cotton are not coming down. Now India is considering imposing ban on export of cotton.

Textile and spinners can face difficulties in forward trading in the next season keeping in view the bullish trend in the rate of New York Cotton.

On the other hand there is a need to look on the situation on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Some bankers are predicting that rate of US dollar may touch Rs 200 mark. In all these circumstances there is a need to look on developments at both national and international level.

In Sindh and Punjab the stock of cotton is very limited. The rate of cotton in Punjab and Sindh is in between Rs 18000 to Rs 21500 per maund. Increasing trend is seen in the rates of Khal and oil. The Spot Rate Committee of the Karachi Cotton Association has kept the rate unchanged at Rs 21000 per maund.

Bangladesh will for the first time import 9 million bales of cotton this year thanks to the sudden rise in demand for yarn and fabrics, said Mohammad Ali Khokon, president of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA).

In 2021, Bangladesh imported 8.5 million bales of cotton at a cost of over $3 billion. One bale equals to 480 pounds or 218 kg.

Cotton import will surge in the country as the export of Bangladeshi made garment items rose significantly with the gradual reopening of the global economies, he said.

For instance, between July and December last year, the first six months of the current fiscal year, garment export grew by 28.02 per cent year-on-year to $19.90 billion.

Of the amount earned from the garment shipment, $11.16 billion came from knitwear, a 30.91 per cent rise year-on-year.

In the period, $8.73 billion came from woven, which is also 24.50 per cent higher year-on-year.

Punjab is facing extreme canal water shortage of up to 79 percent over planned quota, while the newly installed provincial government seems least bothered about the situation, claim farmer representatives.

Cotton sowing in many areas in South Punjab is three to four weeks behind schedule due to abnormal drop in canal water.

Despite improvement in flows of Indus and Kabul Rivers, water is not being supplied to South Punjab canals, further exacerbating scarcity of water in the parched fields, said Farooq Bajwa, Founding Convenor, Punjab Water Council here Friday.

“Amid the hottest summer ever, we are made to bear the brunt of drought situation in the absence of much-needed canal supplies,” he said, and added that “our hardships multiply when we see a deafening silence at the helm of affairs over one of the most burning issues of Punjab outback, comprising Bahawalpur Division along Cholistan Desert. Are we not equal citizens of the province or country?”

The farmers of Punjab, especially those living in the south, comprising core cotton growing area, feel alienated when it comes to water availability for drinking, as well as, irrigation purposes. Currently, from Chairman Indus River System Authority (IRSA) to Federal Minister for Water Resources, regulations of river supplies are being governed and managed by persons belonging to Sindh.

At provincial level, with PML-N government focusing mostly on urban areas, rural population was being given a miss in meeting their pressing needs, Bajwa lamented.

Canals in Punjab were facing extreme shortfall. Taunsa canals (DGK and MZG) were getting 3,000 cusecs against 12,000 cusecs demand, showing 75 percent shortfall. Similarly, Panjnad was also getting 3,000 cusecs against 14,000 cusecs demands, registering 79 percent shortfall.

Trimmu canal was getting 8,700 cusecs against the demand of 17,000 cusecs, showing 49 percent shortfall. Bahawal Canal shortfall was 78 percent as it was receiving just 1,100 cusecs against 5,052 cusecs.

Bilal Israel, Director Farmers Associates of Pakistan (FAP), hailing from Rahim Yar Khan, was of the view that cotton sowing in Rahim Yar Khan, prime silver lint producing area of the country was braving the driest conditions on record due to extremely low canal supplies.

He said there was zero flow of river diversions from Indus Zone to South Punjab as Taunsa-Punjnad Link Canal (TP Link) and Chashma-Jhelum Link (CJ Link) were still closed.

He regretted that Punjab’s growers were toiling in the broiling sun amid extreme canal water shortage and were unable to meet irrigation requirements at crucial sowing and early plantation stage.

No one at water regulation stage was bothered about their problems. As South Punjab reels under severe heat-wave conditions, water shortage becomes unbearable.

Low flows have exacerbated the situation to unbearable levels, he observed. Despite of having surplus water available in Indus and Kabul Rivers, Punjab indents were not being met, he claimed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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