KARACHI: Phutti (seed cotton) arrival figures for the last fortnight (March 1 to 15) show that the crop size has only grown by 4.08 per cent at 13.369 million bales compared to 12.845m bales produced in the same period of last year.
This is contrary to what was being initially expected that the current season (2013-14) would see a bumper cotton crop.
Though the season started with expectation of a larger cotton crop, heavy rains and floods in Punjab during last monsoon damaged standing crop in many cotton-growing areas. In lower Sindh, pest and insect attack affected the crop.
Cotton analysts believe that the government should come out with extensive cotton-growing programme and should ensure that certified genetically modified cotton seed is supplied to growers to increase per acreage yield.
The dwindling phutti arrivals which started from second half of the current season dashed the hope of harvesting a large cotton crop this season, cotton analyst Naseem Usman told Dawn. He said the use of uncertified cotton seed by growers is causing adverse impact to the crop.
However, it is encouraging that Sindh has managed to produce higher quantity of cotton by up to 10.47pc at 3.755m bales as against 3.399m bales during the same period of last season — a rise of around 355,965 bales this season.
Punjab, which initially recorded a growth of up to 15pc in crop size over the previous season, is now only showing 1.78pc growth. Up to March 15, the province has produced 9.614m bales as against 9.445m bales last season, an increase of 168,592 bales so far.
Other details show that spinners purchased higher quantity of cotton this season at 12.148m bales compared to 11.618m bales a year earlier. Similarly, exporters also purchased larger quantity at 369,673 bales compared with 328,931 bales last season.The arrivals of phutti during last fortnight were slower at 40,960 bales compared to 81,413 bales recorded in the year-ago period, showing a fall of 40,453 bales.
The unsold stocks lying with ginners stood at 851,320 bales compared to 898,106 bales last season. Only three ginning units are currently operating in Sindh and 39 in Punjab.