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Producers try balancing deficit of cotton bales
Jan '08
In the wake of low cotton production, Pakistan textile industry is facing a major crisis since a huge amount of import requirements will have to be met to balance the deficit.

While the spinning industry of Pakistan consumes nearly 15 million bales of cotton every year, the country is likely to produce only 10 million, falling short of five million bales. This as a consequence would lead to rise of cotton prices in the domestic market coupled with an extra pressure on the Government's reserves.

Although, the textile industry has imported 1.23 million bales so far, experts believe that a huge amount is expected to reach the country in the next few months. Recently, the Economic Coordination Committee of Pakistan approved import of 0.5 million bales short staple cotton from India through Wagha border.

Cotton prices on January 3 stood at around Rs3,075 per maund, on the next day the rates have climbed to about Rs3,125.

With weakening supply as well as unpredictable prices, the textile industry is uncertain and the trade is becoming strained.

Low cotton production can largely be attributed to two major reasons, namely; damage caused by mealybug and leaf curl virus and negligence on part of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Phutti arrival in Punjab has dropped by 23.10 percent or 6.865 million bales as compared to 8.937 million bales produced in the corresponding period last year.

As a result of the plunge, the overall production of cotton in the country fell by 17.76 percent at 9.114 million bales as against 11.082 million harvested in the same period last.

The industry was anyways surrounded by crises like high cost of production coupled with erratic power cuts. This unprecedented outcome has further aggravated the situation making matters worse for the industry.

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