Bangladesh is likely to become the world’s top cotton importer replacing China, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.“Bangladesh is raised 200,000 bales to 5.9 million on strong mill demand and larger recent shipments from India, to become the world’s largest importer,” the USDA said providing trade outlook for 2015/16 (till July 31).
China has become the largest importer of raw materials as its economy has grown, and China is projected to import 5.5 million bales in the current season, the lowest since 2003. One bale weighs 480 pounds or 218 kilograms.
“China is cut 250,000 bales to 5.5 million on declining use and the weak pace of trade to date,” said the USDA report on ‘Cotton: World Markets and Trade. China had been the largest importer of Indian cotton in the last three years.
The forecast for Pakistan’s imports is raised to 2.0 million bales, its highest level in the last eight years, it said.
Reports of poor crop conditions in Pakistan caused pessimism regarding crop size among many observers over the last several weeks. The pessimism has been confirmed by falling deliveries of seed cotton to gins.
Pakistan was widely expected to see higher imports of raw cotton despite a slightly higher import duty, especially as duties on yarn imports were raised substantially.
However, recent reports on cotton shipments from India to Pakistan (at least 600,000 170-kg Indian bales in November alone) indicate that Pakistan’s import demand may be substantially larger and may impact global markets sooner than previously anticipated.
Outside of Pakistan, the continuing shift of spinning capacity from cotton-producing China to more import-dependent countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh has also raised the forecast for global trade.
Beyond India, stronger recent demand will benefit Brazil and various West African suppliers, especially due to their competitive pricing and relatively large available supplies.
For 2015/16, world production is lowered substantially, mostly due to changes in Pakistan and China.
Major Cotton exporters are Australia, Brazil, Greece, India and the United States.