KARACHI: The country produced around 9.518 million bales of cotton up to November 15, 2013, an increase of one million bales, or 11.73 per cent, over the corresponding period last year when 8.519m bales were produced.

The impressive growth in the said period is a strong indicator that the crop size would be even higher than the government estimates of 12.9m bales and may even exceed 14 million bales, analysts said.

The jump in phutti arrival in Punjab completely changed the initial production estimates which were put at around 12.65m bales. The fortnightly (Nov 1 to 15) phutti arrivals data issued by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PCGA) showed that cotton production in Punjab increased by 8.41pc at 6.204m bales as against 5.723m bales produced in the same period last year. This would mean that 481,068 more cotton bales were produced in Punjab.

Similarly, sustained arrival of phutti in Sindh also pushed cotton production higher by 18.53pc at 3.313m bales compared to 2.795m bales produced in the corresponding period last year. Therefore, Sindh has produced around 517,987 more bales during period under review.

However, higher cotton production is depressing prices and resulting in heavy loss to growers. Cotton analysts fear that if no appropriate measures are taken by the government to safeguard the interest of growers, cotton cultivation next year will dip down and that will also hurt the textile industry.

Though mill buying stood higher at 7.306m bales as against 6.659m bales they purchased in the same period last year but exporters are not inclined to build upon their stocks even at falling cotton prices.

Due to sustained arrival of phutti larger number of ginning units are still operating in Punjab at 846 as against 829 ginneries were functioning last year. In Sindh also a higher number of ginning factories are still operating at 269 compared to 258 in the same period last year.

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