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Cotton Imports by Pakistan to Drop as Domestic Inventories Surge

Cotton imports by Pakistan, the world’s fourth-biggest grower, may tumble this year as a jump in stockpiles help counter a potential drop in local output.

Inbound shipments may drop 40 percent to 1.5 million bales of 170 kilograms (375 pounds) each in the year that began on July 1, Khalid Abdullah, the nation’s cotton commissioner, said in an interview in Karachi. Inventories have almost doubled to 1.5 million bales from 800,000 bales a year earlier, he said.

Cotton climbed 12 percent this year in New York, the second-best performer among the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index, as farmers from the U.S. to Australia reduced plantings after prices plunged from a record in 2011, while mills boosted purchases in China, the world’s biggest user and importer. The contract for delivery in December rose 0.2 percent to 84.37 cents a pound on Ice Futures U.S. at 1:28 p.m. in Singapore.

Pakistan may miss a target to harvest 13.26 million bales this year after excessive monsoon rains flooded some fields, Abdullah said. “Achieving the target for the year seems challenging now because of the rains,” he said.

Monsoon flooding has killed 165 people, while also destroying crops on 634,200 acres (256,652 hectares ) as of yesterday, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.

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