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Pakistani traders may import 20000 tons of Afghani cotton
May '18
Pakistani traders may import 20000 tons of Afghani cotton
Pakistan is facing a shortfall of cotton due to water shortage and thus plans on importing close to 20,000 tons of cotton from Afghanistan. Cotton is stored in southern Afghanistan in sealed containers and Pakistan is willing to import the crop after checking it for sanitary and phytosanitary standards, said a Pakistani government official.

A team consisting of members from the department of plant protection and the ministry of national food security and research is slated to visit Afghanistan to analyse the cotton crop, said Pakistani media reports quoting a government official.

Cotton production in Pakistan has virtually been stagnant at 10-12 million bales since 1991-92, as per a report. The production dropped further down to 9.9 million bales in 2015-16. The country requires close to 15 million bales of cotton annually.

Afghanistan is in favour of using Chaman and Torkham border points to save costs for its exporters as well as Pakistani importers. Pakistan currently only allows cotton imports to enter the country through the Karachi port.

An Afghani delegation had visited Pakistan earlier this month to improve bilateral trade between the two countries. Pakistan exported goods worth $1.28 billion to Afghanistan in 2016-17, while it imported goods worth $337 million from the landlocked country.

Cotton imports were halted during crop harvest in order to let farmers get an attractive price for their cotton crop, in turn encouraging them to plant more of it in the coming season. Pakistan government had also allowed duty-free import of cotton for textile millers, however, this move ended up benefitting Indian farmers who exported cotton to Pakistan. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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