KARACHI: Cotton production up to Oct 1 recorded year-on-year growth of over 50 per cent, according to a report issued by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Thursday.

More than 3.99 million bales reached ginneries by Oct 1 against 2.64m bales a year ago.

Both Sindh and Punjab posted high growth in cotton production this year, but the fear of a pest attack still looms large.

Punjab produced 1.68m bales up to Oct 1 compared to 788,699 bales last year, showing an annual rise of 112.83pc. As many as 524 ginning units are currently operating in the province against 391 a year ago.

Sindh produced 2.31m bales against 1.85m bales last year, which translates into a growth rate of 24.56pc.

The current pace of phutti (seed cotton) arrivals indicates that the country is set to produce cotton over and above its domestic requirement.

This year’s robust performance follows poor production during the last two years when the annual figure stood a little over 10m bales.

On the consumption side, spinners purchased 2.97m bales this year so far against 1.98m bales a year ago, showing an increase of 1.5 times.

Exporters booked 145,886 bales this year compared to 67,391 bales in the corresponding period last year, reflecting an increase of 116.5pc.

Ginners are currently holding 885,322 unsold bales against 596,622 bales that they held a year ago.

According to a PCGA official, the country can achieve the production target of 13m bales this season.

In total, 787 ginning factories are currently operating in Sindh and Punjab.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2017