Pakistan has resumed cotton imports from India through the Wagah border post crossing after a period of eight months. However, interest of Pakistani mills owners in Indian cotton has dropped significantly amid unusual hike in price, according to a report in the Pakistani media.
Pakistan Cotton Ginners Forum Chairman Ihsan-ul-Haq has stated that Pakistan’s Department of Plant Protection (DPP) had halted cotton imports from India through the Wagah border crossing after rising tensions between the two countries eight months ago due to which all imports were being carried out through the Karachi port.The ban has been lifted after eight months and Pakistani authorities have permitted import of cotton through the Wagah border crossing, Haq said.
In the mean time, Pakistan has imposed countervailing duty on import of Indian origin cotton yarn recently to safeguard the local industry. Pakistani importers of fine count cotton yarn from India will have to pay a hefty duty which is usually consumed in sheeting and shirting fabrics.
A current report of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) reveals that per hectare production of cotton in Pakistan remained a record 25% higher than India in cotton year 2016-17.Cotton yield per hectare in Pakistan is estimated at 699 kg, whereas in India it remained at 560 kgduring the current cotton season.
In cotton year 2017-18, per hectare production of cotton in Pakistan is expected to increase to 739 kg, whereas in India it would decrease to 530 kg, as per the ICAC report.The ICAC report also stated that cotton production would soar by 0.1 million tonnes to 6 tonnes in India, 0.1 million tonnes to 4.8 million tonnes in China, 0.3 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes in US and 0.1 million tonnes to 1.9 million tonnes in Pakistan.