By admin       2018-01-04

January 4, 2018 - LAHORE: At least 422,738 cotton bales of 160 kilograms each reached ginning factories during the last fortnight, industry data showed on Wednesday. Total cotton arrival at ginning stage has so far reached at 11.108 million bales, showing a seven percent increase in volume compared with the same period a year ago, according to a consolidated statement of cotton arrivals in factories around the country till January 1. Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and Karachi Cotton Association jointly compiled the statistics. Cotton production is expected to be around 11.1 million bales of 170kg each during the current crop year of 2017/18 against the revised production target of 12.6 million bales keeping in view the cotton arrival trend. Government revised down cotton output target by 10.26 percent to 12.60 million bales for the current season over an earlier estimate as the country’s biggest crop producer Punjab fell short of targeted cultivation area. Cotton production was recorded at 10.6 million bales during the crop year of 2016/17. The latest data showed that cotton production rose 12.38 percent in Sindh, while there has so far been a 4.2 percent increase in the cotton arrival in Punjab. Analysts said the arrival trends, during last fortnight, are above the market expectations. “It could partly be due to the late sowing of crop in the province (Punjab) and high rates of the silver fiber being witnessed in the market in the last several weeks,” Ihsanul Haq, chairman of Cotton Ginners Forum said. “It is now expected that volume of cotton import would be lowered accordingly.” Pakistan, which is the world’s fourth largest cotton producing country, falls short of around four million bales a year to meet the local demand of nearly 16 million bales. The country, the world's third-largest cotton consumer, usually starts cotton import from September. Till November, textile mills have signed import contracts of 1.8 million bales from countries, including US, Brazil, South Africa and Middle East. Government has also restored cotton imports from India to meet the growing appetite of key textile industry, though it slapped a tough set of rules for consignments from the neighbouring country to the dismay of Pakistani buyers. Under the new rules, the National Plant Protection Organisation would inspect and test the consignments according to appropriate procedures and to ensure the goods are free from pests. The country, however, surpassed Bangladesh to become India’s biggest cotton buyer, accounting for 40 percent of its cotton exports after buying $822 million worth of cotton from India in 2015/16.

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