The country has so far processed 10.366 million bales of cotton this season, a year-on-year growth of 11.7 per cent, according to the latest fortnightly report issued by the ginners’ association on Tuesday.
However, during the last fortnight (Dec 15 to Jan 1), 218,762 bales reached ginning factories, a drop of 10.7 per cent as compared to the same period a year ago.
Cotton output in Punjab, where 280 ginning mills are operational at present, rose 18.7pc year-on-year to 6.617m bales as of Jan 1. The province suffered heavily last season as its production plummeted 40pc.
Sindh, which performed well last year, has so far produced 3.749m bales, showing an annual growth of 1.21pc. Around 136 ginning units are operating in the province.
Dwindling flow of phutti (seed cotton) for the last one month indicates that very little phutti has been left in cotton fields and the current season may close much earlier than normal.
The only encouraging factor during the current season is that spinners have purchased higher quantity of cotton so far, ie 8.818m bales compared to 7.271m bales in the last season.
Exporters, however, have bought 199,244 bales this season as against 355,426 a year ago. Unsold stocks held by ginners currently stand at 1.348m bales compared to 1.652m bales a year earlier.
Looking at the crop size, it seems the industry would have to import substantial quantity of cotton. According to All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, there is a shortage of around 4m bales at present.