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Web Exclusive | August 2016

Cotton imports cross 20 lakh bales

India’s cotton import has soared above 20 lakh bales thanks to skyrocketing cotton prices. While Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) had projected imports of around 15 lakh bales during 2015-16, trade and industry officials opine that imports have already crossed 20 lakh bales. This is in stark contrast to import of around 14.5 lakh bales in 2014-15. 

China, the largest buyer of cotton from India in the past, reduced imports significantly after it accumulated huge stocks as reserves. Cotton exports to China plunged by over 50 per cent in 2014-15 to 58 lakh bales.

China is expected to produce around 22 million bales this marketing year and consume around 35 million bales, creating a deficit of around 13 million bales. Most of this will be met with cotton from its reserves, although China will import about 4.5 million bales. Since 2007, cotton demand has continued to languish mainly due to fashion trends favoring products made from manmade fibres. China has an advantage in making and selling these products in vast quantity, which is one of the reasons for cotton’s share to fall.
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