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Increase in cotton output in Pakistan likely this season

With improved weather conditions in Pakistan, the country is expected to receive a10.6 million bales of cotton crop during this season (2016-17). Traders and market experts are of the view that the country's cotton crop is likely to improve during this season compared to the earlier season (2015-16) mainly due to favourable weather conditions.

Undoubtedly, the country's cotton crop would remain on the lower side in 2016-17. However, the crop is likely to be better than that of the last season.

Market experts are of the belief that the estimates they had and feedback from the growers all go to project that Pakistan's cotton crop will be 10.6 million bales (1bales = 155kg) slightly higher than 9.7 million recorded in the last year. In the first week of this month, Pakistan's Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has already revised cotton production target downward side and estimating a cotton crop of 10.54 million bales (1 bale = 155 kg) in this season against actual target of 14.1 million. CCAC has revised cotton crop estimates for the third time during this season.

Traders said cotton prices were also expected to rebound in the coming month due to higher demand of quality cotton and ginners were also likely to offload improved quality cotton in the market in January, they added. They were of the say that United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) had also predicted that Pakistan's cotton crop would rebound 18 per cent during that season. USDA recent report on ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ said that Pakistan's crop is projected at nearly 8.3 million bales (1 bale = 480 pounds) in 2016-17, an 18-per cent rebound from a 2015-16 crop that was the country’s lowest since 1998-99. Although the area of 2016-17 was forecast at a three-decade low, crop conditions appeared to have been favourable that season as the yield was projected at 748 kg per hectare, one of the top yields on record for Pakistan, it added.

Traders said that shortfall in cotton crop would result in higher import of raw cotton to meet the domestic demand. Although, Pakistan is among the leading cotton producing countries, however from the last few years its cotton production is on downward side and declined drastically to 9.7 million bales in 2015-16.