KARACHI: The overall cotton production fell 6.84 per cent to 10.762 million bales as of March 15 from 11.5m in the corresponding period last year, according to latest figures released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) on Monday.
Slow phutti arrivals is a strong indicator that the crop is unlikely to exceed the 10.8m-bale-mark when the season ends in April.
The fortnightly figures for March 1-15 showed that only 21,263 bales were produced as against 27,671 in the same period last season recording a shortfall of 6,408 bales.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed concerned government departments to ensure higher production at 15m bales but so far, no incentives have been announced to encourage cultivation.
Moreover, the government has failed to notify indicative price for phutti and fix quota for procurement by Trading Corporation of Pakistan.
Punjab’s production, the country’s largest producer, has declined to 6.613m bales down 9.39pc during the same period last year when total production stood at 7.298m. Sindh, on the other hand, produced 4.149 million bales down 2.45pc from the same period last year. Balochistan has produced 117,852 bales.
The textile spinning industry purchased 9.641m bales as against 10.954m in the corresponding period last season. Similarly, exporters booked 102,330 bales compared to 216,615 bales last season.
The ginners are still holding substantial quantity of unsold cotton at 1.019m bales compared to 597,847 held in the corresponding period last season. Currently, 24 ginning units are operating in Punjab and only one is operating in Sindh.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2019