Pakistan spent $1.838 billion on cotton imports during nine months of the current fiscal year (9MFY21) — up 46 per cent — from $1.258bn in the same period a year ago.
The 9MFY21 lint imports surpassed the FY20 total cotton import bill of $1.704bn. Cotton import bill in FY19 was $1.65bn.
Meanwhile, sharp decline in cotton production — from over 14 million bales in 2012 to 5.6m bales this year — has shattered the hopes of the textile industry which was seeking to improve its performance.
Total exports during 9MFY21 increased by just $212m to $10.411bn compared to $10.269bn in the same period of FY20.
According to a local media report, data collected from private sector importers is estimated at around 7m bales. In the absence of local cotton stock, the total import by the end of the current fiscal may be around $2.5bn to $3bn.
It may be recalled that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Chairman Asim Bajwa had recently said that Pakistan is making efforts to produce cotton in Balochistan with the help of China as the Chinese are interested in producing cotton in unused lands.