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India’s cotton imports on steep rise

Date: 06-08-2012
Subject: India’s cotton imports on steep rise
An increase in cotton imports into the country due to low domestic supply and lower prices abroad would further lead to heightened demand for cotton. According to industry sources, the cotton imports to India are likely to triple in the year ending September 30, 2012. So far the mills in the world’s second biggest cotton producer have already imported 500,000 bales and have signed contracts for around 1 million bales at 75-80 cents per lb, compared with the local price of about 88 cents.

According to Dhiren Sheth, President of the Cotton Association of India, “Indian textile companies are importing cotton, taking advantage of cheaper prices in the international market and cotton imports may touch 1.5 million bales.” Most of these imports taking place are from Africa, Australia and Brazil.

Cotton futures for December delivery on ICE were trading up 1.48 per cent at 70.54 cents per lb by 11.40 GMT. Domestic mill owners feel that the low international cotton prices will help in increasing the profit margins within the country and tight domestic supplies are creating an opportunity for increase in imports.

In first nine months of the cotton year India had been actively exporting cotton, mainly to China, but its exports have nearly halted from the end of June as African and Brazilian sellers are offering the fibre at lower price. India exported 11.5 million cotton bales of 170 kg each so far in the 2011/12 season that began on October 1, depleting stockpiles, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said earlier this month.
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