Pakistan’s Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) has revised downward its cotton production target by 33 per cent to 10.2 million bales, against the initial target of 15 million bales set for the 2019-20 season, after missing the sowing target by over 6 per cent. This will require import of at least 5 million bales, substantially raising the import bill.

This shortfall translates to a drop of 2 per cent in gross domestic product (GDP), said an anonymous official of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). The expected quality of cotton is also much worse than last year, he added.

A CCAC meeting was held recently involving representatives of provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab, the plant protection department, the Trading Cooperation of Pakistan (TCP), the Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department (FSC&RD), the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), APTMA, the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) and cotton growers, according to Pakistani media reports.

According to cotton commissioner Khalid Abdullah, said the downward revision was a result of missing the sowing target, pest attacks and weather conditions.

Cotton was sown on 2.658 million hectares against the target of 2.785 million hectares. Cotton seed sowing declined due to rise in sugarcane cultivation in cotton areas, a delay in harvest of wheat and shortage of water.

Punjab was expected to cover 2.145 million hectares and produce 10.2 million cotton bales, Sindh had to cover 0.64 million hectares and produce 4.6 million cotton bales, Balochistan had to cover 0.1 million hectares and produce 0.2 million bales and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been targeted to sow cotton on 0.01 million acres and produce 0.0002 million bales of cotton.Sindh reported a drop of 30 per cent in the expected cotton crop while Punjab reported a drop of 15 per cent over last year’s production.