Pakistan’s cotton crop prospects for the year 2017-2018 showed that crop production went down by 7.74%, which means a shortfall of 877,800 bales during the season, which mainly happened due to lack of guaranteed prices of cotton, said Pakistani ginners. Growers fear massive decline in crop prices after the import of duty/tax-free import of cotton from February 1 while the stock of more than one million bales is lying with the growers.
Malik Kashif Arian, a farmer of a village on Shujaabad Road and the owner of 27 acres of land, said he was waiting for better prices but the government had announced import of duty-free cotton from February that would reduce the domestic cotton prices. He said the policy would affect the cotton sowing in 2019-2020 and area under cultivation would fall further.
Ginner Shahzad Ali Khan said that phutti prices had declined to Rs 400-500 since the government had announced duty-free import of cotton. He said the government had imposed 30% Regularity Duty on the import of sugar to oblige sugar mills. It allowed import of duty-free cotton under pressure from textile mills without protecting the financial interests of the local growers.
Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association officials said that 10.456 million bales of seed cotton (phutti) reached ginneries across Pakistan until mid-January, registering a shortfall of 7.74% as compared to the corresponding period of last year. Out of the total arrivals, the ginning factories have ginned over 10.358 million bales. In Punjab, cotton production observed massive decline. Arrivals in Punjab were recorded at 6.324 million bales, showing a 10.79% shortfall, and over four million bales in Sindh, registering 2.66% shortfall as compared to the corresponding period of last year.