Cotton output growth slows to 12.3pcArchive
KARACHI: Annual growth in cotton output has slowed to 12.33 per cent as arrivals of phutti (seed cotton) dropped during the outgoing fortnight (Dec 1 to 15), dimming hopes of a better cotton harvest this year.
The country harvested 10.147 million bales of cotton up to Dec 15, a year-on-year growth of over 12pc, according to figures released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association on Monday. However, phutti arrivals during the outgoing fortnight fell 3pc to 389,490 bales.
According to latest estimates of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee, Pakistan is expected to produce 10.542m bales during the current season.
However, cotton analyst Naseem Usman put the estimates at 10.08m bales. He added that since the third and final picking is under way, it indicates that crop season would end much earlier.
Reports indicate that little crop has been left for picking in the fields and the current cotton season would end much earlier than it was anticipated.
Though both Sindh and Punjab recorded higher production so far, a sudden dip in fortnightly phutti arrivals is being taken as a negative development which may end the current cotton crop season by the end of January.
Punjab has so far produced 6.444m bales, a growth of 19.4pc over the corresponding period of last year. Around 406 ginning factories are still operating in the province. Similarly, Sindh’s output rose 4pc to 3.703m bales and around 174 ginning units are functioning there. Meanwhile, spinners are estimating that in order to meet the cotton shortfall the industry would have to import around four million bales.
The most encouraging development during this cotton season has been that the textile industry has so far purchased higher quantity of cotton at 8.451m bales over the corresponding period last season when around 6.812m bales were lifted.
However, exporters booked less cotton this season as they purchased only 194,844 bales as against 354,625 bales in the same period a year ago. The unsold stocks held by ginners stood at 1.5m bales compared to 1.867m bales last year.
Published in Dawn December 20th, 2016