Cottco Holdings Limited, Zimbabwe’s biggest cotton dealer, recently projected a 26 per cent fall in total cotton intake for 2022 compared to last year citing the impact of poor weather on yield.
The late onset of rains and erratic rainfall patterns led to a reduction in the expected intake to 85 600 tonnes for the season compared to 116,000 tonnes in 2021.
Last year’s total cotton intake was below the projected volume of 150,000 tonnes.
However, production during the 2021-2022 season benefitted significantly from the Presidential Free Cotton Inputs Scheme, which helped lakhs of farmers boost production.
This year’s season officially commenced on June 13, about a month later than usual as the bulk of the crop was a late crop owing to the delay in the first rains. On July 13, intake stood at 34,497 tonnes and deliveries are expected to peak in July and August while payment modalities have been put in place for the current season to improve farmer viability and ensure payments are made timeously, according to a report in a newspaper in Zimbabwe.
Ginning commenced on July 18 with lint output being prioritised to support local spinners.
During the year to March 31, 2022, Cottco sold 50,187 tonnes of lint. Of that, 77 per cent was exported while the remainder was sold to domestic customers.
“Farmers have expressed general satisfaction with the current season’s payment modalities and Cottco anticipates an increase in the number of farmers for the 2022 planting season as it continues to roll out the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme, with the advantage that cotton is a drought tolerant crop,” said acting company secretary Jacqueline Dube in a trading update for the first quarter to June 30.