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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cotton production jumps 82 percent by October 31

Sindh this year has witnessed a record 132pc surge in cotton production to 3.79m bales till October 31, while Punjab has posted a 43pc increase to 2.99m bales over the same period last year according to arrival of the crop at ginning factories.

The data released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on November 3, showed that around 6.8 million bales arrived at the ginning factories till Oct 31 which is 82pc more on a year-on-year basis. Last year the arrivals were only 3.7 million bales by October 31.
Moreover the PCGA reported that cotton arrivals rose 13.3pc during the last fortnight.

During 2023-24, the total domestic production of cotton is likely to remain between 9 and 9.5m bales, around 2m bales short of the target of 11.5m bales set by the Federal Committee on Agriculture according to some experts.

They expect 1.8m to 2m more cotton bales in the rest of the season, arguing that during the same period last year, around 1.3m cotton bales had reached the ginning factories despite floods.

So far textile mills have purchased 5.8m bales, over 91pc more than the previous year’s 3.03m bales. Exporters and traders, including a foreign firm, have procured 0.279m bales against just 49,000 bales in the last year. The ginners are maintaining a stock of 0.713m bales.
Cotton Ginners Forum chairman Ihsan-ul-Haq attributes the exporters’ buying trend to the good quality of the white lint because of fewer rains this year. He, however, is irked by the feet-dragging of the federal government on its promise of ensuring the minimum rate of at least Rs8,500 per 40kg of raw cotton (Phutti) in the open market throughout the season.

“Though Phutti rates have dropped to Rs7,000 per 40kg, the federal government has not yet started purchasing cotton from ginners through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) as had been promised.

He holds the textile millers responsible for the government’s inaction, alleging representatives of major textile groups both in the federal and Punjab cabinets are influencing the decision-making on the purchase of cotton.

Haq recalls that at a PCGA seminar in Multan on the World Cotton Day on Oct 7 Punjab Agriculture Minister S.M. Tanveer had announced the “good news” that the TCP would begin purchasing cotton from ginners in a couple of days.

The statement was later made subject to the permission of the Economic Coordination Committee, he regrets, adding that two meetings of the ECC have been held since then but without making the issue a part of the agenda. This, he says, is causing serious concerns among the farmers and may affect cotton cultivation next year.

He fears that because of an extraordinary hike of 193pc in the gas rate for the textile export sector, the cost of production will go sharply up, affecting textile exports and resulting in a further decline in prices in the local cotton market

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