“According to International Cotton
Advisory Committee (ICAC), cotton output in Pakistan now looked likely
to come in at 1.9m tones, some 300,000 tones less than originally
expected. ..Analysts said the losses could have been greater were it not for the sowing of genetically modified seed. ..Many
cotton districts in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh have been
severely hit by flood and more rains are forecast over the next week. ..The
estimate reflected in part the loss entirely of 6-8% of cotton sowings
to the floods, which have killed an estimated 1,500 people and affected
20 million others. ..The balance of the losses were attributed to
follow-up damage, including the standing water that will suffocate the
root system of plants, and the spread of pests. ..”Hot and humid
conditions provide suitable conditions of pest multiplication, including
bollworms that affect the fruit directly,” the ICAC said. ..However,
the committee, an intergovernmental group, also flagged the resistance
that many crops will have thanks to have been planted with genetically
modified seed in their first season of official release. ..At
least half the 2010-11 crop was planted to biotech varieties resistant
to bollworm. While falling short of initial hopes, a cotton crop of 1.9m
tonnes is in line with Pakistan’s historical output. In the 1990s, the
country clocked up a series of sub-1.5m-tonne harvests. ..The ICAC
added that it was cutting its estimate for cotton use by mills in
Pakistan, the third-biggest consuming country, but said that the
shortfall would be made up elsewhere, leaving use estimates unchanged. ..Cotton
for September stood $0.06 cents lower at 87.67 cents a pound in late
deals in New York, with the better traded December lot down 0.28 cents
at 83.58 cents a pound. ”