Report Highlights:

Production of cotton, far and away Pakistan's largest domestic source of oilseeds, is expected to reach 10.0 million 480 lb bales, unchanged from the current USDA 2015/16 forecast. Planting is nearly complete and slightly ahead of the year ago pace. Total area is expected to reach 3.15 million hectares, 200,000 hectares above the current USDA estimate. Imports of soybeans are expected to rise following a recent decision by the Government of Pakistan to increase the tariff on soybean meal.

Cotton Planting in Progress:

Cotton is Pakistan's principal oilseed crop and 2015/16 planting is nearly complete in both Punjab and Sindh, the primary cotton producing provinces. As of June 25, planting had reached 3.0 million hectares, slightly ahead of the 2.85 million hectares that were planted as of the same date a year ago. Area is expected to increase by an additional five percent to 3.15 million hectares, 200,000 hectares more than the 2.95 million hectare USDA forecast. Pakistani farmers typically plant 200,000 hectares of early cotton in February and March, but late winter rains kept farmers from either planting or harvesting existing crops to make way for cotton planting. Planting of this area was simply delayed to the more common April - June planting period. The current predicted cotton yield for the 2015 harvest is relatively aggressive. Hence, the estimate of cotton production remains unchanged at 10.0 million 480 lb bales, despite the expected increase in area. Water for irrigation combined with anticipated glacier melt is adequate heading into the growing season.

Soybean Imports On the Rise:

Imports of soybeans are expected to rise following the second consecutive annual increase in the tariff on soybean meal. The Government of Pakistan increased the import tariff from 10 to 21 percent. The local crushing industry believes that the shift to imported soybeans will improve the quality and consistency of soybean meal.