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Pakistan floods could damage up to 3m bales of cotton

The devastating floods in Pakistan have destroyed up to 30% of the country’s cotton crops as industry experts predicted that 700,000 acres of cotton cropland is under water.

Analysts have predicted that the floods, which are the worst in the country’s history, have damaged between one to three million bales out of an estimated 2010 harvest of 14 million bales of cotton. The floods have destroyed about 5% of the crop in Punjab and 20% in the province of Sindh.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has warned that as a result of the floods, cotton demand could outstrip supply. According to the USDA world cotton production is predicted to increase to 113.9 million bales in 2010-11, up 11% from 2009-10. However it said world consumption could increase to 119.1 million bales next season from an estimated 115.9 million.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said the floods in Pakistan, the world’s fourth largest cotton producer after China, India and the US, may have destroyed total crops worth about $1 billion (£639m).

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