Karachi, Pakistan – International The News reports in Pakistan that Cotton production fell 34.07 percent to 9.748 million bales up till March 15 of the current season from 14.785 million bales a year ago, Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PCGA) data showed. A shortfall in the cotton crop continued to worsen this season as untimely heavy rains, substandard pesticides and poor quality seeds took heavy toll on output in the cotton growing areas of Punjab and Sindh. Analysts said the decline in cotton crop is causing a loss of billions of dollars to the economy.
“The import of raw cotton, yarn and other textile products is reflecting the increase in the country’s import bill,” said an analyst. “Pakistan has become the fourth largest importer of textile products in the world in the wake of crop failure.”The government has fixed cotton production target for 2016/17 at 14.101 million bales, which is lower from 15 million bales set for the current season.
However, many analysts are still bearish over the production outlook due to a host of issues ranging from climate change, lack of certified seeds, and insufficient government advisory.“These issues are likely to hit the cotton output and the crop production may remain around 10 million bales next year,” said the analyst.Domestic consumption of cotton is more than 15 million bales a year.
In Punjab, cotton production declined by 44.68 percent to 5.982 million bales compared to 10.814 million bales a year earlier, the PCGA data revealed.By contrast, Sindh’s output suffered slightly as it produced 3.766 million bales this season, a fall of 5.16 percent compared to 3.971 million bales in the corresponding period last year.The textile industry purchased 8.745 million bales as against 12.938 million bales last season. Similarly, exporters also booked only 361,241 bales this season compared to 473,337 bales.Ginners are holding around 641,763 bales of unsold cotton as against 644,986 bales in the corresponding period of last season.
Source: International The News