Pakistan imports 24,300 tonnes of cotton yarn in six months

Govt urged to help farmers increase cotton production area and per-acre yield 

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LAHORE: During the first half of the fiscal year 2019-20, Pakistan imported 24,299 tonnes of cotton yarn from India, China, Turkey, Oman, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries.

According to figures available with this scribe, Pakistan imported 14,100 tonnes of cotton yarn from China (58pc of total imports), 2,067 tonnes from Turkey, 1,038 tonnes from Oman, 915 tonnes from Uzbekistan, 246 tonnes from Indonesia, 172 tonnes from Vietnam and 1,028 tonnes from other countries.

Pakistan also imported 4,733 tonnes of cotton yarn from India during July-September 2019 (19pc of total imports in the first half of FY20).

It may be noted that Pakistan had stopped importing cotton from India following the latter’s decision to revoke Article 370 of its constitution that granted Indian occupied Kashmir a special status.

Pakistan had downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and later also suspended its bilateral trade during a cabinet meeting.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan was highly dependent on Indian cotton yarn from 2011 to 2019.

According to figures, Pakistan’s imports of cotton yarn from India was 73pc of total imports in 2011-12, 77pc in 2012-13, 86pc in 2013-14, 83pc in 2014-15, 89pc in 2015-16, 80pc in 2016-17, 75pc in 2017-18, 63pc in 2018-19 and 19pc in 2019-20 (July to December 2019).

In terms of quantity, Pakistan imported 4,927 tonnes of Indian cotton yarn in 2011-12, 16,856 tonnes in 2012-13, 25,839 tonnes in 2013-14, 22,988 tonnes in 2014-15, 45,130 tonnes in 2015-16, 62,335 tonnes in 2016-17, 75,494 tonnes in 2017-18, 47,777 tonnes in 2018-19 and 4,733 tons from July to September in 2019-20.

WHY IMPORT COTTON YARN

Talking to this scribe, a leading weaving miller from central Punjab shared that Pakistan’s cotton production area has decreased from 2.86 million in 2011-12 to hectares 2.48 million in 2019-20 while the production of cotton bales decreased from 13.60 in 2011 to 8 million cotton bales in 2019.

He added that due to fewer amounts of cotton bales reaching ginners and from them to the spinning mills, the millers have to import cotton yarn to meet the demand of the local apparel industry as well as the export targets.

“That’s why Pakistan had to import cotton yarn from other countries to meet the demand of our national and international clients,” he added.

When asked why we emphasized on Indian cotton yarn from 2011 to 2019, a weaving miller said that Pakistan’s cotton production and yield decreased by 41pc and 33pc respectively, due to which it imported cotton yarn from India between 2011 to 2019 as it was cost-effective and India was one of the largest exporters of quality cotton yarn.

However, a worried spinning miller said that the government should take some serious measures on an urgent basis to address the issue of cotton production in the country in 2020 otherwise, it would be a decisive blow to the local spinning industry as they will not have enough cotton bales to make cotton yarn etc.

He welcomed the Economic Coordination Committee’s decision of waiving off all taxes and duties and allowing Cotton’s import to Pakistan via Torkham border which is effective from January 15.

“It would help the spinning industry of the country to overcome the cotton bales deficiency in the country,” he added.

The miller demanded that concrete steps should be taken to increase the production area, total production and per acre yield of the cotton.

He advised capacity building and incentive for cotton farmers that might help in meeting the cotton bales target this year.

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