ISLAMABAD: The Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC) is likely to revise upward cotton production estimates to 12.9 million bales for the current season (2017-18) after good arrival of the crop was reported, it is learnt.

The CCAC is scheduled to meet Thursday (today) to assess the cotton production estimates for the current season (2017-18). Secretary Textile Division Hassan Iqbal would chair the meeting, which would also be attended by representatives from provincial governments, Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Associations, Karachi Cotton Association, Pakistan Oil Mills Association, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, and progressive cotton growers.

The CCAC in its first meeting held in August 2017 had revised cotton production estimates downward by over 12 percent to 12.6 million bales against the initial estimate of 14.04 million bales for the current season (2017-18) after missing the sowing target.

It was informed in the first meeting that cotton sowing target has been missed by a wide margin of 12 percent in the current crop season (2017-18), and as a result Pakistan would miss the production target set at 14.04 million bales by around 1.5 million bales. They said that due to uncertainty of cotton prices, increased sugarcane cultivation in the cotton areas and shortage of water decline in cotton sowing were registered.

Cotton Commissioner Dr Khalid Abdullah told Business Recorder that CCAC meeting is scheduled for Thursday (today) and due to good arrival, the production estimates will be either maintained or revise upward. He further said that though sowing target was missed yet out of the 24 percent of cotton area, taken over by other crops like sugar, maize, vegetables, etc, during the last five years, 16 percent has been recovered after hectic efforts.

In the last meeting, the CCAC unanimously agreed to assess the cotton crop size for the year 2017 as 12.6 million bales. Punjab was estimated to produce 8.8 million bales of cotton, Sindh, 3.7 million bales, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were estimated to produce 0.10 million bales of cotton. Decline in cotton sowing was recorded in Punjab which is the major cotton producing province. Punjab which produces about 70 percent of the total cotton has been hit hard as 5.3 million acres have been covered against the target of 5.97 million acres. It is 88 percent of the target for current season but is higher if compared to 4.48 million acres during the previous season. Sindh has covered 1.5 million acres in the current season against the target of 1.606 million acres and missed the target by 6 percent.