While the water consuming crops like rice and
sugarcane were hit considerably due to shortage of water mainly because
of low amount of rainfall this year, the cotton crop the mainstay of our
economy is however expected to break all previous record as size of the
crop this year is likely to be in the region of 12 million plus bales.
According to crop estimates for the last three year, the size of the
crop usually remained around 10 million bales while the situation seems
altogether different this year. However, the final assessment has yet to
come. According to an assessment the crop may be around 15 million bales
which in a way looks exaggerated assessment however, it may easily touch
the mark of 12 million sales said a market player. Though the size of
the crop matters as far as the textile exports were concerned, however,
the more important factor is how much of the produce is being consumed
for value addition, is the real factor.
As far as the local textile industry was concerned,
it is in a sound state of consuming the available stuff especially in
view of the impressive investment in balancing, modernization,
replacement as well as expansion of the existing units which are quite
capable to produce the desired results.
While looking back at the performance of the textile
exports, it was also impressive as it set a milestone in textile exports
which was estimated more or less around $10 billion which is certainly
an output worth appreciating.
The new year which is not far away to open new
challenges for all the active players in the export regime especially in
the face of WTO when the quota protection would be done away with after
As far as the quality of textile products ranging
from yarn-fabric to made ups, was concerned, it was quite capable to
weather the storm, the only factor which needs immediate attention of
the policy makers is the input cost which might render our textile
products uncompetitive in the international scenario especially the
China factor which has facilitated its industry with electricity at a
nominal prices to the exporters having 60 percent exports of their total
Obviously, Pakistan which produces most of its
electricity through costly fuel oil cannot afford to offer such a
lucrative offer to the power consumers, yet it can at least reduce the
government levies on power consumption if we have to enable our economy
to withstand the onslaught of the cheaper products within the country
and of course in the export scenario.
As far as cotton consumption of our neighboring
country was concerned, it is reported that the indian mill use and
production hit records. According to newly available USDA data, Indian
mill use and production are expected to hit historic highs in 2004/05.
Consumption is forecast at 3.0 million metric tons, up 4 percent from
the previous year.
Production is forecast at 3.1 million metric tons, up
3 percent from the previous year.
India is already the second largest user of cotton in
the world with an average 2.9 million metric tons of mill use per year.
Because of its low cost of production and economies of scale, India is
expected to expand its apparel and textile industries. Experts believe
that India will benefit when the current system of quotas governed by
the Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA) is terminated. Also concerns about
Chinese mill use raised by tighter credit, increasing labor and energy
costs, and the threat of US safeguards is making India an attractive
alternative. Targeting both domestic and export markets has helped the
apparel industry to grow at an annual rate of 15 to 20 percent. India is
the third largest cotton producer in the world, with an average 2.6
million metric tons production a year. With the exception of some
high-quality ELS, India produces most of the cotton used by its textile
industry. Better than average late-season rainfall is likely to result
in favorable yields; however, the increase in production from last
season is attributable to additional area. Last year's record yields and
high cotton prices combined with extended monsoon rains have encouraged
Indian cotton farmers to plant more area.
The marketing year 2003/04 final US export sales
report shows 13.33 million running bales of cotton exported in 2003/04,
up 1.85 million running bales or 17 percent from the 2002/03 total. A
dramatic increase in exports to China, up 2.9 million running bales,
offset declines in other markets.
Exports to China accounted for more than one-third of
the total reported exports. Exports to Mexico, traditionally the largest
US market declined 17.5 percent, as China supplanted Mexico as the top
US market. Exports to Mexico in 2003/04 suffered due to continued
decline in Mexican mill use, higher domestic production, and large
carry-in stocks. Exports to Turkey, the third largest US market in both
2003/04 and 2002/03 were down slightly; in line with Turkey's decrease
in total imports.
The US maintained the nearly two-thirds market share
in the Turkish market it had in the previous two years. The US
maintained the roughly 30 percent market shares seen in Indonesia and
Thailand in 2003/04. US exports to Korea and Pakistan were up by about
10 percent in each market.
However, US market share in Pakistan declined as
Pakistan's total imports more than doubled, while US market share
increased in Korea as total imports declined 15 percent.
In order to face the new world in the face of
globalization, a full time Ministry of Textile is the need of the hour
to give a direction to the textile industry which is our sole export