Pakistani cotton spinners have lost the opportunity to sell thousands of tonnes of cotton yarn to China, hindered by severe power shortages, just-style has been told.

"For two months in the winter there was hardly any electricity for the industry in the state of Punjab where 75% of our spinning mills are based," said Mahesh Kumar, president of Pakistan's Cotton Ginners' Association.

According to Kumar, 80% of Pakistani yarn exports are sold to China, but in the past two months only 25% of yarn companies continued to operate their mills using costly in-house electricity.

Until the power cuts, exports to China were booming he said - with average exports at 65,000 tonnes-a-month, compared to 40,000 tonnes, two years ago - so 30,000 tonnes of orders could have been lost.

Kumar claimed that most Pakistani exporters have seen their Chinese clients switch to Indian mills.

Indeed Indian yarn exports to China are rising fast and are projected to register a 60% to 70% year-on-year increase to 300,000 tonnes in the year ending March 2013, said Manikam Ramaswamy chairman of India's Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.

However he argued Pakistan's problems had not helped. "Our yarn exports are rising due to the overall increase in yarn imports by China," he told just-style.

Ramaswamy said Indian mills had responded to fresh demand from China for thicker yarn. "With the same installed capacity Indian mills are manufacturing heavier yarn for Chinese exports," he said.