According to data released by the Karachi Cotton Association, ex-gin prices of cotton have increased by 15.15 percent to Rs.7,600 per maund from Rs.6,600 on the same date last year.
Prices per 40 kg were recorded at Rs. 8,145, up from Rs. 7,073 on the same date last year.
In a meeting held on April 10th 2018, the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) set targets for the area and production of cotton crop, which were 2.955 million hectares and 14.37 million bales respectively for 2018-19 compared to a target of 3.109 million hectares and 14.04 million bales during 2017-18.
As compared to the 3.109 million hectares targeted, only 2.808 million hectares have been utilized so far, while production has been about 11.98 million bales against the 14.04 million bales target.
The major chunk of the total targeted production is expected from Punjab, which according to target figures was to produce 10 million Bales from 2.420 million hectares in 2017-18. The province has however been unable to meet the target, having produced only 8.12 million bales of cotton from 2.161 million hectares, a drawback of about 18.8 percent in production compared to set targets.
The second major portion of cotton production is targeted to be achieved from Sindh. They were expected to meet a production target of 4 million bales from 0.65 million hectares in 2017-18, but failed to achieve the target having produced only 3.77 million bales from 0.612 million hectares.
Punjab has achieved 81.2 percent of the target provided whereas Sindh has completed only 94.25 percent of the total target provided. Overall 84.3 percent of Pakistan’s target of cotton has been achieved to date.
A shortage of water, coupled with an increase in urea prices that render it too expensive to be purchased by most farmers are the primary reasons attributed to the gap between targets and actual cotton production and land utilization.