By admin       2017-01-27

Despite reports of short supply of irrigation water, the farmers appear quite enthusiastic in sowing cotton and it is gaining momentum in central Sindh areas while it has almost complete in lower Sindh.Luckily, last week, some of cotton areas in Sindh and Punjab received rains which would greatly help the lands in maintaining the required soil moisture.Some reports indicate early arrival of monsoon which would be crop-friendly. However, if weather conditions remain favourable during the development of cotton crop, a good crop of 11.5 million 170-kg bales can be expected in 2004-05 season.The running cotton season is closing on 10 million local bales ex-gin. Our domestic cotton consumption is increasing and, in 2004-05 it is estimated around 13.0 million local bales.One report of International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) says: "In the last three years, production in Pakistan has not surpassed 1.9 million tons (=11.167 local bales of 375 lbs each) and is expected to remain at above that level over the next seven years".This report further says that Pakistan would require half a million tons (= 2.30 million 480-lb bales =2.9 million local bales) cotton to meet the projected requirements of its textile industry by the end of this decade.This means Pakistan's domestic consumption is forecast around 2.4 million tons (= 11.02 million 480-lb bales = 14.10 million local bales) by 2010-11.This writer does not agree with ICAC figures in which production has been underestimated and taken at 2.21 million tons (=10.15 million 480-lb bales=13.0 million 375-lb bales).Interestingly, Pakistan has already achieved cotton production level of 2.2 million tons (= 10.1 million 480-lb bales = 12.93 million 375-lb bales) in 1991-92.Similarly, in 2010-11 season, India's cotton production has been forecast at 2.9 million tons (=13.31million 480-lb bales=17.044 million bales) while India has already produced about 18.0 million 375-lb bales some years ago and is producing about 17.0 million bales in 2003-04.India's domestic consumption has been forecast around 18.76 million local bales thus requiring about 1.76 million local 375-lb bales to meet its shortfall on production.It means that in 2010-11 India and Pakistan would jointly require to import 800,000 tons (=3.67 million 480-lb bales=4.7 million local bales) to meet their domestic requirements.In the same report, US cotton production has been forecast down at 3.5 million tons (=16.07 million 480-lb bales) and domestic consumption down to 0.76 million tons (=3.5 million 480-lb bales), thus creating a surplus of some 15.3 million bales by 2010-11.In the same report, China's production has been forecast at 6.8 million tons (=3.12 million 480-lb bales) and domestic consumption around 8.2 million tons (=48.2 million 480-lb bales) falling short in production by 1.4 million tons (= 6.4 million 480-lb bales).This report perhaps indicates that the large surplus of 15.3 million bales of US cotton can be greatly absorbed jointly by China, Pakistan and India to offset their total shortfall of 2.2 million tons (=10.10 million 480-lb bales).This may be a very beautiful idea for bailing out US of its surplus cotton. China, India and Pakistan have good potential of improving their cotton production in next seven years.Largely depending on imported cotton, the textile industries of these three countries may lose their edge which they may enjoy by making their countries almost self-sufficient in cotton.China can increase its acreage, while Pakistan and India have lot of scope for improving their yield per acre.India is already planning to double its yield by adopting Israel's production technology. Israel has reduced its flower shedding rate to only 3 percent, while 97 percent flowers are converted into cotton bolls, whereas in India only 47 percent cotton flowers are converted into cotton bolls.India is also extending sowing of Bt Cotton for getting higher yield. For higher production high rate of cotton bolls has to be maintained.Pakistan is also adopting methods to increase its production by at least 30 percent to make the country almost self-sufficient in cotton.The production target of 14.0 or 15.0 million local bales is quite achievable and the agriculture scientists of Pakistan can make it possible.The agri-scientists should accept this challenge and prove their worth by achieving it.Simultaneously, to a greater extent Pakistan--and India to some extent--has to improve quality of the lint cotton to match the international standards.With a view to popularise use of cotton and ensure absorption of maximum US cotton in cotton-deficient countries, US is making all-out efforts, through conducting seminars/workshops in different countries.On May 6, Cotton Corporation International and the US cotton merchants/exporters are holding such a seminar in Dubai which is expected to be largely attended by cotton indenting companies and end-users of US cotton from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.In 2004-05, there may be glut of cotton and US, having maximum export surplus of about 13.0 million bales, may face tough competition from CIS, West Africa, Australia, Egypt, Sudan and other African countries which are surplus in cotton. By making payments of huge amount of $1.54 billion as subsidy to its cotton growers, US keeps edge over other countries while it discourages government subsidy to cotton growers of other countries.Brazil is reported to have filed a case with World Trade Organisation (WTO ) for restraining US from payment of subsidy to its cotton growers. Here is a table of production and consumption figures of the world which gives enough food for thought to forecast the market trend in 2004-05 season.Also, from January,1 2005, rule of free foreign trade will be enforced which would revolutionise the cotton and textile marketing system. Rule of better quality and competitive price would prevail.Pakistan should also reduce power rates to make them compatible with other competing countries like China and India beside removing all hindrances in the way of smooth exports.

Download App

# #

Member Login