Pakistan to import 1 million cotton bales from India

Islamabad, Aug 30 (Calcutta Tube) Pakistani spinners have finalised deals with Indian exporters for import of one million bales of cotton since cotton crop has been extensively damaged in the floods that ravaged the country.

Mohammad Akber, the vice-chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), said: ‘The spinners are scouring cotton growing countries for importing the fiber on concerns of disruption to domestic supply chain.’

Akber said that the floods triggered by torrential rains could have destroyed 2.5 million to 3 million bales (1 bale weighs 170 kg) of cotton in Pakistan.

‘It is difficult to say anything on the exact crop losses because floods are still playing havoc in Sindh. But it is safe to assume that our domestic cotton output will not exceed 11 million bales,’ Akber told the Dawn.

The loss of cotton crop means that the spinning industry will have to import up to four million bales this year to meet its requirements.

APTMA-Punjab chairman Gohar Ejaz urged the government to make immediate efforts to import at least two million bales of cotton from the US on a deferred payment basis through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Xinhua news agency reported.

Akber said the spinners were facing shortage of cotton as they couldn’t import the fibre in the past several months due to restrictions imposed on yarn export.

‘Had the government allowed the free market mechanism to function smoothly, the mills would not have to face this situation now,’ he said.

He said most mills were running far below their installed capacity because of the shortage of raw material.

The crop losses in Pakistan have led to concerns about a possible steep rise in global cotton and apparel prices as the world cotton supplies are feared to lag far behind the consumption demand.

Akber said the domestic cotton prices in India were also expected to increase because of the import orders from Pakistan and added: ‘It is a worldwide phenomenon and prices are likely to stay upwards because of the global shortages.’

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