Pakistan's cotton production fell 34% in 2022-23

 Pakistan has produced 2.52 million less bales of cotton this year, a lowest output in last 40 years

Pakistan Cotton Gin­ners Association (PCGA) data has revealed that the Pakistan has produced 34 per cent less cotton this year as compared with the crop yield last season. The final figures for the crop year 2022-23 show that Pakistan produced 4,912,069 (4.91) bales, the lowest in around 40 years. Pakistan had produced 7,441,833 (7.44) bales in the 2021-22 season, a year-on-year decline of 2,528,764 (2.52) bales or 34% less.

It means the textile industry will have to import around 10 million bales to satiate its annual hunger for 15 million bales. However, mill consumption in the year 2022-23 has also been reported at 8.8 million bales, the lowest in over 20 years, mainly because of severe import financing issues.

Market sources say the textile mills have so far signed import agreements for 5.5 million bales, whereas they have purchased 4,605,449 bales from the local market. Last year, the mills had bought 7,332,000 bales from the domestic market. Ginners say they are still holding 301,720 bales in their stocks against last year’s inventory of 93,833 bales.

Flash floods and heavy rains during last year monsoon that devastated large swathes of the agricultural land in the country, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, are blamed for the massive drop in cotton arrival.

Interestingly, despite a strong demand in international markets, only 4,900 bales of white lint could be exported this year against the previous year’s figure of 11,000 bales, a fall of over 69%. The main destinations of Pakistan’s raw cotton are the Philippines, Italy, Bangladesh, Greece and France.

Province-wise, Punjab registered over 32% year-on-year decline in output as it produced 3,033,050 bales this season against 3,928,690 bales last season.

Sindh reported over 46% year-on-year loss in yield as the lint production in the province this year stood at 1,879,019 bales against 3,513,143 bales last year.

Pakistan’s cotton output reached a high of 14.1 million bales in the year 2004-05. But it dropped to 7 million bales in 2020-21 and about 9.45 million bales in 2021-22 as the country’s per acre yield contracted to half of the crop productivity in other countries of the region.

Stakeholders, including the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, called for pegging the cotton intervention price with the import parity price in line with the policy adopted over the past two years.

The ECC constituted a cotton price review committee with the mandate to review market prices and propose intervention on a fortnightly basis.


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