KARACHI: The prospect of higher cotton production is consolidating after the arrival of phutti (seed cotton) remained strong for the second consecutive fortnight.
Phutti arrivals in the outgoing fortnight (Nov 15-30) stood at 997,908 bales, up 63 per cent from 612,320 bales recorded in the corresponding period a year ago.
The trend has given a sigh of relief to the textile industry, which has been worried about the widening gap between demand and supply following an indirect ban on cotton imports from India.
However, industry players say they will still need a sizeable quantity of long staple cotton to produce fine-count yarn to meet export and domestic demand.
With the production clocking up at 9.778 million bales, phutti arrivals up to the last fortnight were 13.28pc higher than the last season.
Both Punjab and Sindh recorded higher cotton production on an annual basis. Punjab recorded growth of 20.69pc to 6.158m bales in the current season.
Sindh recorded an increase of 2.57pc, which was encouraging because the cotton crop in the last season did not receive any major production setback. With 222 ginning factories, Sindh has so far produced 3.619m bales compared to 3.528m bales.
The textile industry has so far purchased 7.683m bales compared to 6.289m bales a year ago. However, exporters were relatively inactive with cotton purchases of 184,944 bales against 352,826 bales last season.
Ginners are also holding sizeable stocks of unsold cotton at present. Their holdings are 1.909m bales compared to 1.989m bales a year ago.
In total, 788 ginning mills operate in Sindh and Punjab.
Cotton analyst Naseem Usman believes Pakistan will produce around 10.015m bales this season against 9.095m bales a year ago.
courtesy : dawn news