KARACHI: Cotton prices continued to decline. There was a difference of Rs15,00 in price, depending on the quality. Spot rate was reduced by Rs.12,00 per maund. “World Cotton Day” was observed on October 7 in many cotton producing countries of the world.

In Pakistan Cotton Day was celebrated by Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, Karachi Cotton Association, Central Cotton Research Institute and PREMIUM T.M.

The cotton production is increased by 71.15 %. Production is expected to be around 90 lac bales. A meeting of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee should be immediately called to discuss the difference in the agriculture production in Punjab.

In the local cotton market, the price of cotton showed a bearish trend during the last week. Textile spinners are cautiously buying cotton while ginners are selling cotton at every offered price; depending on the quality, the price of cotton varies by Rs 15,00 per maund.

Low quality cotton is being sold at Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,500 per maund while high quality cotton at Rs 16,500 to Rs 17,000 per maund.

According to market sources, quality is becoming a major factor day by day. However, demand and prices of textile products and cotton yarn are decreasing.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) is complaining against continuous increase in energy price, as energy prices are higher in Pakistan as compared to regional countries.

In this situation, there is no chance of increase in the price of cotton at present. Business volume is also on the decrease.

If the price of cotton increases, the number of buyers would decrease. Moreover, the crisis like situation in cotton and textile sectors is increasing day by day, especially the financial crisis. Exports are also affected due to the continued appreciation of the dollar against the Pak rupee.

The rate of cotton in Sindh as per quality is in between Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,500 per maund. The rate of Phutti is in between Rs 6,500 to Rs 7,500 per 40 kg.

The rate of cotton in Punjab is in between Rs 16,500 to Rs 17,000 per maund while the rate of Phutti is in between Rs 6,800 to Rs 8,300 per 40 kg.

The rate of cotton in Balochistan is in between 16,000 to Rs 16,500 per maund and the rate of Phutti is in between Rs 6,800 to Rs 8,000 per 40 kg. The rate of Banola, Khal and oil is stable.

The Spot Rate Committee of the Karachi Cotton Association decreased the spot rate by Rs 12,00 per maund and closed it at Rs 16,800 per maund.

Chairman Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Naseem Usman has said that the rate of cotton in international market remained stable. The rate of Future Trading of New York Cotton closed at 84.17 American cents.

According to USDA’s weekly export and sales report, two lac and forty thousand bales were sold for the year 2023-24. China was at the top by buying one lac twenty six thousand and two hundred bales. Vietnam bought 68,600 bales and came second. Macao bought 17, 300 bales and ranked third. For the year 2024-25, 2,200 bales were sold which were bought by Pakistan.

However, exports of Pakistan’s textile sector continued to maintain a downward trajectory, clocking in at $1.35 billion in September compared to $1.53 billion recorded in the same month of the previous year, a year-on-year decline of 12%, showed provisional data released by the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Wednesday.

The data shows the country’s textile exports in the first nine months of the calendar year 2023 decreased by 18% to $11.9 billion, down from $14.53 billion in the same period of 2022.

Pakistan’s textile exports are crucial as they make up for the bulk of the country’s exports. The year-on-year basis the decline is concerning for our economy, which faces a shortage of foreign exchange, and relies on some non-debt creating dollar inflow to shore up reserves.

Meanwhile, on monthly basis, the textile exports declined by nearly 8 % as compared to $ 1.46 billion recorded in August.

Cotton arrival in Pakistan witnessed a significant increase of 27.7% as of September 30 compared to September 15, showed the latest fortnightly data released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginner’s Association (PCGA) on Tuesday.

As per the report, total cotton arrival in Pakistan rose to 5.025 million bales compared to 3.934 million bales recorded on September 15, 2023, an increase of 1,091 million bales.

On a year-on-year basis, cotton arrival in surged by over 71%, when compared to 2.936 million bales registered on September 30, 2022.

Last year, flash floods in Pakistan devastated large swathes of agricultural land in the country, especially in Sindh and Balochistan, impacting cotton crop production, which witnessed a 34% YoY decline.

As per the PCGA data, cotton arrival reported a substantial increase from both Punjab and Sindh.

As of September 30, cotton arrival in Punjab clocked in at 2.069 million bales as compared to 1.545 million bales reported on September 15, 2023, an increase of 34%. On a yearly basis, cotton arrivals from Punjab bolstered by 33.9%, as compared to 1.546 million bales clocked in during the same period last year.

Similarly, cotton arrival in Sindh was 2.956 million bales compared to 2.389 million bales recorded in September 15, an increase of 0.567 million bales or 23.7%. However, the YoY increase was more pronounced in Sindh, as cotton arrivals jumped by 112.6% as compared to 1.391 million bales registered in SPL.

Commenting on the report, Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Chairman Naseem Usman said that cotton production is expected to be around 90 lac bales. However, according to the sources, the delivery of the crop may be relatively less in the coming days.

However, Punjab Agriculture Secretary Iftikhar Sahoo has directed the Extension Wing to maintain a record of cotton arrivals on their own instead of relying on the ginners for the statistics. Earlier, instructions were given to implement track and trace to monitor cotton production.

Crop Reporting Punjab Agriculture Department has reported cotton production of thirty three lac and sixty six thousand bales till September 30, while PCGA in its production report has reported cotton production of twenty lac and sixty nine thousand bales in Punjab province till this period.

Thus, a meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee should be called immediately to find out the reason for the significant difference between the two reports. Surprisingly, not a single CCAC meeting has been convened so far.

Separately, Karachi Cotton Association celebrated ‘World Cotton Day’ on 7th October 2023 at the office of the association to highlight the global importance of cotton and the challenges faced by the world’s cotton economies, especially Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Muhammad Atif Dada, Chairman Karachi Cotton Association, highlighted the importance of World Cotton Day and hoped that all stakeholders related to cotton trade will play their role for the betterment of cotton trade in Pakistan.

Prominent Speakers belonging to various sectors of the cotton trade namely (Rizwan Iqbal Umer, Vice-Chairman the KCA; Waqas Anwar, Member Executive Committee, the KCA; Khawaja Muhammad Nauman, Chief Operating Officer of M/s. Control Union Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd; Rahat Aziz, Ex-Assistant Director/ Admn In-Charge and Classer/ Arbitrator, Pakistan Cotton Standard Institute; Muhammad Naseem Usman and Chander Lal, Members of the KCA’s Brokers Advisory Committee also shared their views regarding the challenges being faced by the cotton trade in Pakistan and desired that government should take all possible measures on urgent basis to increase cotton production and improve quality of cotton in the country.

Chairman of Karachi Cotton Brokers Forum Naseem Usman said in his statement on the occasion of World Cotton Day that every farmer, every landowner, and every labourer of this sector is looking to the state of Pakistan in this difficult period because their day to day earning is linked to the cotton trade.

Naseem Usman appealed the government to work on an emergency basis to improve the cultivation of cotton so that unemployment can be eliminated and economy of the country will be strengthened.

Although the support price of Phutti was fixed at Rs 8,500 per 40 kg by the government in this season, due to which the cotton farmers sowed more cotton, and the crop increased significantly but due to unfavourable weather conditions and attack of whitefly, the crop was affected.

September is not considered as a good month for the cotton crop because of increase in heat intensity and attack of whitefly, which affects the quality and quantity of cotton but the agriculture department failed take this seriously.

Due to their negligence crop was affected and frustration among farmers increased. Keeping these issues in mind, the agriculture department authorities should carefully monitor the cotton crop so that farmers can avoid losses.

We must accept the fact that neither drones nor helicopters kill whiteflies, and neither monitoring of cotton through road checking will increase the production of cotton, he said. The real task is to truly work on cotton research and development keeping the climate change in mind.

Ensuring good support price to cotton farmers and teaching them proper scientific management of cotton, besides timely availability of possible facilities for farming are necessary. If good seeds, pesticides, fertilisers and technical guidance are provided then it is possible that the cotton production will be increased, he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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