KARACHI: Pakistan’s cotton production has plunged 33 per cent to 9.612 million bales this season, the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) said on Wednesday.
The industry believes that such a huge shortfall would not only hurt the economy, but also have far-reaching social implications. Cotton experts estimate that the shortfall would inflict a loss of around $6 billion to the country’s GDP.
Output in Punjab is lower by 44pc as the province has produced 5.857m bales this season compared to 10.5m bales a year earlier, according to a fortnightly report of the PCGA for Jan 15 to Feb 1 period.
Sindh was also adversely affected by heavy rains and floods, but losses are much lower due to early sowing. The province has produced around 3.755m bales as against 3.935m bales a year ago, a drop of 4.6pc.
“As long as the government leaves growers at the mercy of merchants, such incidents continue to repeate,” cotton analyst Naseem Usman said. “Only ensuring quality seed, pesticides and fertiliser to growers can help produce a good harvest.”
During Jan 15 to Feb 1, phutti arrivals remained extremely slow at 136,982 bales as against 184,230 bales a year earlier.
Exporters have so far purchased around 358,48 bales this season compared to 446,346 bales last year. Spinners have offloaded lesser quantity at 8.032m bales as against 12.563m bales. Ginners are currently holding 1.221m bales compared to 1.33m bales last year. Only 167 ginneries are operating in Sindh and Punjab combined against 267 last year.