Pakistan Resumes Cotton Imports From India

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Pakistan has resumed cotton imports from its top supplier – India, after suspending them for a few days, government and industry officials informed. The resumption in the cotton trade will help Pakistan to get cheaper supplies from the neighbouring country. Last month Pakistan suspended cotton imports from India, saying shipments failed to fulfill phyto-sanitary certification, threatening the US$ 822 million-a-year trade.

"We have started reissuing permits. We are still working on the certification issue," said Imran Shami, director general of Pakistan's Plant Protection Department (DPP).

Indian traders have signed contracts to export 350,000 bales to Pakistan since the start of the marketing year on October 1. Out of that, nearly 300,000 bales for shipments in December and January were stuck after Pakistan suspended imports.

"Since Pakistan has started issuing import permits, we are hopeful that buyers will fulfill the contracts," said an exporter based in Gujarat.

In 2015-16, Pakistan surpassed Bangladesh to become India's biggest cotton buyer, accounting for 40% of exports. "Pakistan still needs to import at least 2-2.5 million bales. Resumption in trading will help both the countries," said Chirag Patel, CEO, Jaydeep Cotton Fibers. Pakistan's cotton consumption is pegged at around 15 million bales, while it is likely to produce around 10.5 million bales, Patel said.

Last year, Pakistan bought 2.7 million bales from India and supported Indian cotton prices at a time when China cut imports, traders said.

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