According to official statistics
Pakistan produced 12.636 million bales of cotton this year against the
confirmed industry requirement of 16 million bales. Out of this 0.975
million bales have been exported, leaving the industry with 11.661
million bales…All Pakistan Textile Mills Association confirmed
that its members have up till now imported 0.563 million bales and the
industry still needs 3.775 million bales to meet both the local and
export demand…Chairman APTMA (Punjab) Ejaz Gohar said importing
cotton at $0.80 per pound was not feasible as the exports at these
rates might be possible but the local disposal of yarn at the rates
demanded by the clothing sector was not possible…He said by
capping the yarn exports to 35,000 tons a month the government has
tinkered with the open market. He said the spinners cannot subsidize
yarn for the clothing sector. He said if the government had sympathy
with the value-added sector it should provide subsidy from its own
resources…Former chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers
Association M I Khurram said the value-added clothing sector was
trapped by some non-serious players in the field that had put the
future of entire textile industry in jeopardy…He said some
clothing sector elements misguided the government that the spinners had
engineered yarn rates. He said the incompetent economic mangers fell
into the trap without realizing that the cotton rates in the country
had increased from Rs3,200 per maund in July 2009 to Rs5,600 per maund
now…At the same time, he added, the global cotton rates had
reached a peak of 0.80 cent in February. He said the yarn prices were
bound to go up on the basis of high cotton rates. Khurram said the
clothing sector should have negotiated higher rates of their apparel
from the foreign buyers in the wake of worldwide increase in cotton and
yarn rates. He said instead they put pressure on the government to ban
yarn exports…He said the spinners cannot sell yarn at below
their production cost. He said many clothing sector exporters
negotiated higher rates with their buyers and were comfortably placed.
Now that the majority of mills had announced that they would close down
in 10-15 days the value-added sector factories are also in deep
trouble. Khurram said imported yarn is very expensive and would not
suit the local industry…APTMA chairman Ejaz Gohar said the
bluff of the clothing sector was exposed after the government released
the export figures for January. He said in January this year the export
of fabric increased by 8 per cent, knitwear by 14 per cent, bed wear by
11 per cent, towels by 62 per cent and woven garment by 25 per cent…He
said this showed that the clothing sector was getting higher quantity
of yarn in November and December 2009 when the yarn exports reached
their peak. He regretted that that it was after release of these
statistics the Ministry of Textiles reduced the yarn export quota from
50,000 tons per month to 35,000 tons per month…The APTMA chief
warned that the entire textile chain would come to a halt from April
onwards till July when new cotton crop would arrive. —Mansoor Ahmad