According to data released by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA), cotton production in the country has decreased by 34 per cent this year compared to the previous season. The final figures for the crop year 2022-23 show that Pakistan produced 4,912,069 bales, which is the lowest in around four decades, as opposed to 7,441,833 bales produced in the 2021-22 season, resulting in a year-on-year decline of 2,528,764 bales or a 34 per cent loss.

This drop in production means that the textile industry will have to import around 10 million bales to meet its annual demand of 15 million bales. However, mill consumption in the year 2022-23 has also been reported at 8.8 million bales, the lowest in over 20 years, primarily due to severe import financing issues.

Market sources state that textile mills have so far signed import agreements for 5.5 million bales, while they have purchased 4,605,449 bales from the local market. Last year, the mills had bought 7,332,000 bales from the domestic market. Ginners report that they are still holding 301,720 bales in their stocks, compared to last year’s inventory of 93,833 bales.


The massive drop in cotton arrival is blamed on flash floods and heavy rains during last year’s monsoon that devastated large swathes of agricultural land in the country, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

Interestingly, despite strong demand in international markets, only 4,900 bales of white lint were exported this year, compared to the previous year’s figure of 11,000 bales, a fall of over 69 per cent. The main destinations for Pakistan’s raw cotton are the Philippines, Italy, Bangladesh, Greece, and France.

Province-wise, Punjab registered over a 32 per cent year-on-year decline in output, producing 3,033,050 bales this season against 3,928,690 bales last season. Sindh reported over a 46 per cent year-on-year loss in yield, with the lint production in the province this year standing at 1,879,019 bales against 3,513,143 bales last year.

Pakistan’s cotton output reached a high of 14.1 million bales in the year 2004-05. But it dropped to 7 million bales in 2020-21 and about 9.45 million bales in 2021-22, as the country’s per acre yield contracted to half of the crop productivity in other countries of the region.

A recent meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) expressed concern over the continuous decline in cotton production and acreage over the years. As a result, the ECC approved Rs8,500 per 40kg as the intervention price on a summary submitted by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to attract growers towards the crop.

The ministry informed the ECC that in order to draw up a cotton intervention price proposal, consultations were held with all stakeholders, including the provincial governments, growers, and cotton associations in January and February. Stakeholders, including the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, called for pegging the cotton intervention price with the import parity price in line with the policy adopted over the past two years.

To review market prices and propose intervention on a fortnightly basis, the ECC constituted a cotton price review committee with the mandate to review market prices and propose intervention on a fortnightly basis.