Pakistan’s cotton export to China improving despite pandemic

Pakistan's cotton export to China improving despite pandemic

BEIJING, May 10 (APP): Pakistani cotton experts expressed confidence in the development of local cotton-related industry and yarn export to China as well as other parts of the world, which is increasing every year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC), data showed that China imported more than $168 million worth of cotton yarn from Pakistan in the first three months of this year. Uncombed single cotton yarn (commodity code 52051200), containing 85% or above, crossed $133 million in the first quarter of 2022.

Data further showed that the export of cotton yarn (commodity code 52051100) from Pakistan to China crossed $33.30 million, while last year in the same period it was $34.06 million. The export of uncombed cabled cotton yarn (commodity code 52053200)to China crossed $1.50 million in the first quarter of 2022.

In the first quarter of 2022, more than 51147.28 tons of cotton yarn were imported from Pakistan. As affected by COVID-19, last year the import of cotton yarn was more in terms of quantity and value.

Dr. Tassawar Hussain Malik, Director at Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC), Ministry of National Food Security and Research told China Economic Net that price is the main reason for cotton yarn export, and both farmers and exporters get a good price advantage from China. He added that Pakistan has top quality cotton because manual picking ensures its quality.

“Last year the approved minimum price was Rs 5500 per 40KG and this year cotton associations suggested Rs 8000 to keep domestic availability because Pakistan’s textile sector is booming and local demands increased,” he stated.

He further said that the germplasm resources of both countries are complementary. Chinese technology and new varieties of seeds could help improve Pakistan’s cotton industry.

Experts believe that cotton plant protection is still a big crisis in cotton production and authorities need to take it seriously while about 20% of the cotton crop/production is lost on a yearly basis.

They said that in the last 5 years, the followings are the reasons for damaged cotton crops; PBW: 10-15%, Whitefly: 10-12%, Other insects: 5-6%, Cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) Disease: 10-15%, Insects Disease complex: 40-45%.

Experts said that last year’s pink bollworm attack was severe and at least 200KG per acre were lost simply because of PBW which was tantamount to around 15 lac bales. They added that streamlining seed trait technologies for insect resistance and strengthening national and provincial plant protection systems are required while back-to-back heavy rainfall spells in 2019 and 2020 created drainage problems in Sindh where around 1 million bales are damaged each year.

They further said Pakistan and China should work together, especially regarding plant protection issues in Pakistan like insect pests and diseases. This year, climate change and extreme heatwaves are affecting the cotton crop, so they should take advantage of China’s cotton and Pakistan’s cotton to create new varieties.

They added that yarn growing could be fruitful if Chinese technologies and seeds are used in Pakistan.