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Imports mount as cotton yield falls flat

May '08
Pakistan is once again headed for a shortfall in its annual cotton production and as done earlier in likewise situation, imports from India, US and other cotton growing countries is likely to escalate this year as well.

In an exclusive interview with Fibre2fashion Mr S A Javed, Secretary of Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) stated, “Presently we have plans of importing 3 million bales of various varieties which may exceed to 3.5m bales in future.”

Domestic demand for raw cotton has increased to around 15 million bales and in contrast, production is expected at 12 million bales. Even during the previous season of 2007-08, Pakistan recorded a yield of 11.8 million bales against the target of 14.14 million bales of cotton.

However, Mr Javed expressed optimism saying, “Pakistan has capacity of cultivating 20 million bales but due to negligence the yield is comparatively less. A research team has already been assigned with the task to ensure better production of crop next year.”

Under the present circumstances, imports are not only unavoidable but are the only viable option for the textile industry. Unlike Pakistan, which is dreading a shortfall of over three million bales, India is most likely to have a surplus due to widespread cultivation through genetically modified BT cotton and a rise in acreage.

India ranks high in the list of leading producers of cotton as its output exceeds domestic demand. Imports from US have also been on the rise because of its high quality cotton; however, at current price levels, which are really high, imports from any of these countries, will prove to be an unreasonable venture.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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