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Dec 11 - 17, 2000

Spinners lift all lots below Rs2,600

Cotton prices on Thursday slightly eased from the current highs as a section of ginners holding long positions were inclined to sell at lower bids and spinners lifted all the lots offered below Rs2,600 per maund.

Some of the deals in physical trading in fine type were reported as lower as Rs2,400 to Rs2,500 per maund. Some big-lot deals were also reported as spinners were not inclined to take a breather followed by confusion, created by the latest official crop estimate of 10.2 m bales.

Exporters were also in the market and lifted a substantial quantity to meet their shipment deadlines for the current year ending Dec 31, 2000. As the falling prices were in line with their parity levels, they matched the spinner tally but without allowing increase in prices.

Official base rates were also lowered by Rs25 from the seasonal peak level of Rs2,700 to Rs2,575 per maund, while some of the deals in the ready section were done in line with base rates depending on quality.

However, fine lots of lint notably from the upper Sindh and southern Punjab cotton belt meant for higher counts blended yarn for exports continued to fetch higher prices.

Floor brokers said spinners have increased their daily buying followed by the recent report of the official Cotton Crop Assessment Committee, which in its recent meeting held in Multan has reportedly again raised its crop projections above the 10m bales mark.

Whatever the final size of the cotton crop, spinners were in no mood to lower their guard and lifted all the lots offered for sales by the ginners.

Iran to develop canning sector

Iran has expressed its willingness to invest in canning industry, to develop the sector on modern lines along the coastal areas of Balochistan.

Pakistan and Iran have also agreed to formalize trade of various fish species between the two countries and both sides will also undertake joint trade in fish and fishery products.

Official sources told on Saturday that the offer to invest in canning industry was made by Dr Mohammad H. Emadi, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Jihad-e-Szandegi, government of Iran, during his recent meeting with the top officials of the agriculture ministry in Islamabad.

Both sides, discussed crop production, fisheries, livestock, and range management, comprehensively.

The Iranian minister, who was heading a high level delegation comprising the concerned people, during his formal talks with the agriculture ministry officials said, Iran was ready to consider the proposal for the establishment of canning industry in Balochistan in the private sector.

Cotton arrival surges by 17%

The arrival of cotton bales at ginning factories has registered an increase of 16.82 per cent to more than 6.991 million bales till December 1, 2000 over last year.

According to Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) Tuesday, the total arrival was estimated at 5.985 million bales on December 1, 1999.

This year, the arrival has witnessed an increase of 1.006 million bales over last year. Of the total, textile mills had purchased 5.109 million bales while exporters procured 257,877 bales.

The unsold stock at ginning factories from the current crop is estimated at 885,163 bales while the total unsold stock stood at 1.614 million bales.

The major increase in the arrival of cotton has been recorded in Punjab where it surged by 21 percent or 953,846 bales to 5.492 million bales over last year. Punjab received 4.538 million bales during same period 1999.

China to help evolve hybrid rice

China will extend technical assistance and high profile expertise to Pakistan to evolve hybrid rice, a variety gaining popularity, on commercial scale, to help compete and capture the international market.

Yang, leader of the Chinese rice scientists currently engaged in developing the new rice variety in Pakistan said Saturday that experiments on its cultivation here conducted in collaboration with a private group, proved most successful and showed excellent results with maximum yield per acre.

Textile machinery

Indian manufacturers have offered special prices to Pakistani textile industry for sale of machinery, as the latter, presently is undergoing for Balancing, Modernization, Replacement (BMR), on a very large scale.

IFC concerned at lower rate gas supply

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has expressed its serious concern over, what it called, selling of natural gas to cement plants in NWFP at lower rates.

"These government decisions could adversely affect the prospects for IFC's investment in the cement industry. Needless to say, our ability to convince IFC's senior management and Board of Directors to approve new investment in Pakistan depends greatly on how our existing portfolio is faring, and whether the government is pursuing policies, which establish a level playing field for our investments," said IFC Director for South Asian Department Bernard Pasquier.

Ginning factory

The Balochistan government has agreed to set up a ginning factory in Nasirabad division to encourage cotton cultivation in the area.

A high level meeting on Monday, chaired by provincial governor Justice (retd) Amirul Mulk Mengal, decided that government would provide all necessary facilities to the cotton growers in the canal irrigated division of the province.

IBRD report hints at restrained growth

Financial difficulties are likely to restrain growth in Pakistan, and the average growth for the region is anticipated to slow down to 5.5 per cent in 2001-02.

According to a new World Bank report "Global Economics Prospects and the Developing Countries 2001", in South Asia, GDP growth rose to 5.7 per cent in 1999 and is likely to register 6 per cent in 2000, owing to better and expected agriculture performance in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.