The country is likely to lose at least a billion dollars of foreign orders next summer because of the acute shortage of cotton yarn on the local market, manufacturers-cum-exporters of value-added textile sector said on Monday. Expressing fear, they said the raw commodity's scarcity could curb the value-added textile sector from meeting the export deadline for the coming Christmas and New Year events in the West.
"Exporters always book orders at least three months ahead of the next season, and if the raw commodity price is higher or short on the local market then striking deals with global buyers becomes difficult," Value-added Textile Forum Co-ordinator Javed Bilwani said.
He said the value-added textile sector was facing a grim situation, as cotton yarn was not available on the local market while the nearing Christmas and New Year occasions had become a challenge for the sector to ensure shipment of garments before the deadline.
He said the local apparel exporters fear losing international orders for the next summer season, besides completing the existing orders for the coming Christmas and New Year events. Similarly, local exporters are unable to finalise deals with foreign buyers for next summer season in Europe and the US, as they were facing difficulties after the cotton yarn shortage, he added.
"The raw commodity shortage has begun hitting the local market just a month ago because the government relieved yarn export by removing the regulatory duty," he said. He said the country was likely to lose billions of dollars if the commodity shortage reduced the export of apparel items. To a question, Bilwani said: "Pakistan is a cotton yarn exporting country and if the commodity is unavailable for the local industry then the government should make arrangements for its import, as Bangladesh has been doing so to help its apparel sector. "He said the government should first develop its market as cotton importing one so that the local apparel manufacturers and exporters should have a facility to acquire the commodity easily.
He said the government should recognise the negative impact of yarn export, as the commodity was being shipped to other countries, which were rival to its own local value-added textile sector globally. He urged the textile ministry to restrict the export of raw items as India had done recently. "India has stopped export of cotton in a bid to feed its apparel sector, despite textile is not its major export earning industry, whereas Pakistan's primary exporting sector is textile," he added.