Cotton output seen 0.9m bales higher than last year

Post Source: The News – January 08, 2010 – By Israr Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s cotton production this year is likely to miss the 13.36 million bales’ target by about half a million bales, however it is still 0.9 million bales more than 11.8 million bales produced last year. According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), world cotton production in 2009-10 is expected to decline by 5.17 per cent to 102 million bales (218 kg a bale). Pakistani cotton bale is equal to 170 kilograms.

The ICAC is based in Washington DC and is an association of governments having an interest in cotton production, consumption and trade.

US cotton production has been estimated at 12.5 million bales, down by 2.51 per cent over previous year. Besides, production in China, Brazil and Uzbekistan is also expected to decline.

Due to global decline in cotton production, its price may further go up in the international market. As Pakistan’s total cotton requirement is about 16 million bales but domestic production is expected to touch 12.8 million bales. The remaining gap would be met through imports.

In a second meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) held here Thursday with Federal Secretary For Food And Agriculture Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman in chair, cotton production has been projected at 12.7 million bales against 12.10 million bales estimated in October 2009.

Cotton Crop Assessment Committee has estimates this year cotton crop size at 12.7 million bales. Punjab cotton production was estimated at 8.40 million bales, Sindh 4.20 million bales, Balochistan and NWFP at 0.10 million bales. The CCAC made the assessments on the basis of crop review, feedback of provincial Agriculture Departments and stakeholders.

Cotton production for Punjab was targeted at 10 million bales, Sindh 3.25 million bales, NWFP and Balochistan was targeted 0.1 million bales each.

In Punjab, production declined by about 1.6 million bales, which the ministry officials say was due to abnormal temperature, severe cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) attack – one of the major biotic constraints of cotton production.

According to the first estimate of the crop during 2009-10 season, cotton has been sown on an area of 3.072 million hectares (or 7.587 acres). This is 2.54 per cent less than the target of 3.2 million hectares (7.91 million acres). However, compared to year 2008-09 cotton sowing area of 2.82 million hectors, this year it was up by 8.95 percent.

The meeting was also attended by Shahid Hussain Raja, Additional Secretary, MINFA, Dr. Qadir Bux Baloch, Agricultural Development Commissioner of the ministry, representatives of Provincial Agriculture Department, Chairman, Karachi Cotton Association (KCA), Chairman, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) and growers’ members.

The committee reviewed and discussed the overall current crop situation and noted that cotton arrivals reported by PCGA on January 1, 2010 were at 11.930 million bales (22.44 percent more than last year).

It was decided that next and final meeting of the Cotton Crop Assessment Committee will be convened in the third week of February, 2010.

The farmers’ representatives were unhappy with the ginners as they bought 80 per cent of their produce at lower than the market price. As according to them, at picking they gave only Rs3,200 per maund against the market price of more than Rs4400 per maund. They were of the opinion that they are buying at lower prices from farmers while in coming months they had to import it at more than Rs5,400 per maund due to rising cotton price internationally.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture says that the Committee has expressed satisfaction on the prices incentives received by the growers higher than the last year’s price.

Meanwhile amid decline in global cotton out put the prices kept rising at a steady pace throughout the past calendar year.

According to World Cotlook – a daily Internet service providing raw cotton prices internationally lint cotton prices on January 4, 2010 increased to 78.45 cents/lb as against 57.60 cents/lb recorded on January 2, 2009.

New York futures lent buying contracts for March 2010 have been quoted at 76 cents/lb and May 2010 at 77.13 cents/lb against 48.91 cents/lb and 49.28 cents respectively during January 2, 2009.

On China Cotton Index, lint was quoted at 98.84 cents per pound against 72.77 cents/lb on January 2, 2009.

Karachi Cotton Association spot rates (Ex-gin price) on January 4, 2010 stood at Rs4,930 per 40 kg or 66.11 cents/lb against Rs3,483/40 kg or 49.87 cents/lb January 3, 2009.

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