of about 11.18% increase in the cotton production in Sidh region has been recorded making it at 4.024 million bales over the corresponding period last year, helping overall cotton production improve by 3.62pc. However, Punjab recorded a fall of 0.83pc at 6.107m bales against 6.156m bales produced in the same period last year.
According to official figures released by ginners’ body, the country produced 10.132m bales up to November 30, 2017, an increase of 353,623 bales, against 9.778m bales produced in the same period last year. Both Sindh and Punjab recorded higher cotton production throughout the season but during the last fortnight (November 15-30), the latter recorded a sudden fall in cotton production – adversely affecting overall production figures.
The impact of heat wave and fog had taken its toll on Punjab cotton crop which reduced production by 51,068 bales, or 0.83pc, at 6.107m bales as against 6.156m bales produced in the same period last season. Contrary to this, Sindh was able to produce 494,691 more bales at 4.024m bales over the corresponding period of last year when production stood at 3.619m bales.
The private sector had been repeatedly warning about the crop size and quality. However, the government has remained silent over the issue and the relevant departments are unwilling to change the higher estimates of production. Looking at the emerging situation, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) held several meetings with different government officials in order to pursue them for allowing imports from India. However, the ban on cotton imports from India still continues.
The sudden fall in cotton production could well be imagined from the fact that during last fortnight (Nov 15-30), phutti (seed cotton) arrival from cotton fields into ginneries declined to 773,521 bales from 997,908 bales recorded in the same period last season. However, it is encouraging to note that spinners have so far purchased 8.062m bales which stood higher than last year’s 7.883m bales. Exporters have purchased 211,989 bales against 184,944 bales last year.
The ginners are holding lesser quantity of unsold cotton stocks at 1.857m bales as against 1.909m bales in the same period last season. In total, 960 ginning units are still operating with 666 in Punjab and 294 in Sindh .