Cotton imports likely to touch $2bn in FY20

LAHORE: Pakistan’s cotton imports are likely to touch $2-billion mark this year due to a lack of research on the commodity, which has resulted in reducing the overall cotton production area in the country.

According to sources, Pakistan would have to import around 6.46 million bales this fiscal year which was likely to cost around $2 billion. This would have a negative impact on the country’s trade deficit, which had shrunk by 28.4pc in the first seven months [of FY20], they added.

As per figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country’s raw cotton imports clocked in at $196.097 million during July-January FY20 as compared to $137.870 million during the same period of last year, showing an increase of 42pc.

On a year-on-year basis, Pakistan’s raw cotton imports clocked in at around $108.111 million, as compared to $17.667 million in Jan 2019, showing a surge of 512pc.

According to the PBS figures, the total import of textile group (including raw cotton, synthetic fibre, synthetic and artificial silk yarn, worn clothing and other textile items) in January 2020 stood at around $295.256 million as against $223.809 million in Jan 2019 (+32pc).

As per the Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association (PCGA), as of February 15, 8.547 million cotton bales reached the ginning factories, showing a shortfall of 6.46 million bales against the target of 15 million bales.

Sources said the major share of Pakistan’s cotton imports was from the US; Pakistan’s cotton imports from US were recorded at $457.262 million in 2018, $280.296 million in 2017, $87.165 million in 2016, $78.279 million in 2015 and $75.869 million in 2014.

Pakistan’s cotton imports from the US alone were likely to touch $1bn this year which would not only hurt the country’s foreign reserves but would also devalue Pakistani Rupee against US Dollar, sources feared.

Hassan Naqvi
The writer is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]

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