Irreparable damage to cotton crop

Heavy rains on crop may force Pakistan to increase import volume

Usman Hanif August 28, 2022
The price of the crop in Sindh ranges from Rs19,500 to Rs22,000 per maund; with reduced quantity and quality. photo: file


Due to global warming-induced rainfalls and flooding, the cotton crop has suffered irreparably taking prices of the crop to the highest ever witnessed in Pakistan.

Continuous torrential rains and floods have engulfed Pakistan’s cotton fields resulting in irreparable loss to the sector, said cotton market expert Naseem Usman.

The price of quality cotton is Rs24,000 per maund and the price of high-quality Phutti cotton is Rs11,000 to 13,000 per 40kg and the spot rate of Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) is Rs23,000 per maund.

“The rates of cotton have reached the highest level in the history of Pakistan,” he said. Due to the high price of cotton and significant disparity of by-products, many small mills have been forced into partial operability or closure.

Cotton consumption will also be affected due to decreased textile activities, and large quantities will have to be imported from foreign countries, he predicted.

An integrated strategy to increase the quantity of cotton crop is also essential to encourage the textile sector, already gripped in an energy crisis, to enhance production.

Topline Securities Textile Sector Analyst at Saad Ziker told The Express Tribune that data provided by the Pakistan Cotton Ginner Association (PCGA) shows that the current arrival of cotton bales stands at 7.4 million tons where 47% belongs to areas in Sindh damaged by flooding.

This signals an alarming situation not only for the sector but also for the country. Under current circumstances, the country will have to import more cotton from abroad which ultimately will lead to an increase in the import bill, he warned.

He added that since August 19, 2022, the price of cotton bale has increased over Rs2,000 per maund.

In the past week, the domestic cotton market has witnessed continuous spells of unprecedented rains and waterlogging in almost all the cotton producing regions of the country, Usman said. In the provinces of Sindh and in Balochistan standing cotton crop was deeply affected as ginning factories remained closed.

Describing the situation he said, many factories were inundated with water up to the waist, while the walls of others had collapsed due to standing water.

In the province of Punjab, many cotton producing areas have also suffered heavy damages due to stormy rains, he told to The Express Tribune. Cropping areas of Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Fazilpur and Taunsa have suffered more damage due to flood rails. The cotton crop has either been largely destroyed or the quality has been severely affected, if not the quantity.

“It is too early to assess the damage at the moment; the second week of September will give us a better idea of the intensity,” he said.

The price of the crop in Sindh ranges from Rs19,500 to Rs22,000 per maund; with reduced quantity and quality. Similarly, Punjab is also facing a cotton crop quality crisis. While the price of cotton in Punjab was recorded between Rs22500 to Rs24000 per maund, the price of Phutti cotton ranged between Rs8000 to Rs13000 per 40 kg.

In Balochistan, the price of cotton is Rs18500 to Rs19000 per maund and the price of Phutti cotton is Rs9000 to RS12000 per 40 kg.

Similarly, Binola, Banola Khul and Banola Oil, by-products of cotton, also have posted an increasing price trend.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2022.

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