Web Exclusive | January 2018
Pak’s cotton output up 7.2%
Higher cotton production by Sindh and Punjab helped Pakistan improve its overall output by 7.16 per cent year-on-year up to December 31, according to the latest figures issued by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association. Yet the production level remained lower than the official revised estimate of 12.6 million bales.
Pakistan produced 11.11 million bales against 10.36 million bales in the corresponding period of the last season. The Pakistan government initially estimated that cotton production would be 14.1 million bales because of the higher acreage of land coming under cultivation. But the cotton crop faced a lot of issues as the season progressed.
Heavy rains affected the crop at one stage. In addition, a heat wave retarded the growth of cotton plants. Pest attacks in many cotton-growing areas of Sindh and Punjab also hurt the crop. Sindh continued to post a higher production growth than Punjab. During the period under review, Sindh recorded a growth of 12.38 per cent to 4.21 million bales. In contrast, Punjab recorded a growth of 4.2 per cent to 6.89 million bales. Spinners tried to import cotton in large quantities earlier in the season. But they shifted their focus on local cotton as world prices surged. As a result, spinners purchased 9.56 million bales compared to 8.82 million bales last season. Exporters also purchased 0.21 million bales against 0.12 million bales that they lifted in the corresponding period of the last year. Ginners are holding unsold stocks of 1.33 million bales compared to 1.35 million bales a year ago. Of 609 ginning units still operating in the country, 446 are in Punjab and 163 are in Sindh.