KARACHI: Increased flow of phutti from cotton fields in the Punjab to ginneries during the last fortnight (Nov 15 to Dec 1) has raised hopes of larger harvest of cotton this season.
According to official figures, around 9.650 million bales reached ginneries up to Dec 1, showing an increase of 15.47 per cent in cotton production over the corresponding period of last year.
The country has, so far, harvested around 1.293 million more bales over the corresponding period last year.
Higher production of cotton in the Punjab helped to offset damages and losses caused by recent rains and floods in Sindh to standing cotton crops.
The figures show that phutti arrival in the Punjab was fabulously high at 43.30 per cent at 7.540 million bales as against 5.262 million bales recorded in the same period last year. This means that the Punjab produced around 2.278 million more bales this season so far.
Against this, the heavy damages caused by floods and rains to standing cotton crops in Sindh reduced production by a big margin of 31.84 per cent at 2.109 million from 3.095 million harvested in the corresponding period last year. Therefore, Sindh has, so far, produced 0.985 million less bales this season.
Higher flow of phutti in the Punjab during the outgoing fortnight has resulted in production of 0.777 million more bales at 1.681 million bales compared to 0.904 million bales produced in the same period last year.
The mills purchase during the new season has so far remained at 7.269 million bales compared with 5.886 million bales recorded in the corresponding period last year.
Exporters have lifted around 342,959 bales as against 398,070 bales in the same period last year.
The ginners were also holding larger quantity of unsold stocks at 2.038 million bales up to Dec 1, compared to 1.080 million bales held by them in the corresponding period last year.
Meanwhile, International Cotton Advisory Committee in a report observed that after jumping to record highs in 2010-11, cotton prices dropped sharply in the current season, reducing farmers’ income and decreasing for the first time in three years the attractiveness of this crop when compared to that of its main alternatives.
The report further stated that as a result, the committee projects global cotton area to contract in 2012-13 by eight per cent to 33.3 million hectares and production to decrease by six per cent to 25.1 million tons.
Cotton production is expected to decline in most large producing countries, with the exception of the United State, Uzbekistan and Australia.
Following two seasons at depressed levels, global cotton mills used its forecast to start growing again in 2012-13. This expectation is highly dependent on the assumption of a recovery in global economic growth that would stimulate purchases of textile products and consumption of raw fibers. The ICAC forecasts global cotton mill use to rise by three per cent in 2012-13 to 25.0 million tons, driven by Asia.
The International Cotton Advisory Committee forecasts that rising mill use and lower cotton prices could fuel a rebound in world cotton trade in 2012-13.
Imports and exports are expected to jump by nine per cent to 8.4 million tons. As global production and consumption are expected to roughly balance in 2012-13, global cotton stocks are forecast to increase only slightly, to 11.6 million tons.