02 March 1999
India to import more cotton

INDIAN textile mills are to increase cotton imports because foreign supplies are up to 20% cheaper than domestic prices, reports the Financial Times.

The mills are believed to have signed contracts to import more than 700,000 bales of 170kg each for the season ending in September, reports the paper.

Total imports by the end of September are expected to surpass 1m bales, compared with 400,000 bales last season.

India is forecast to export 500,000 bales this season, but there is “very little interest in Indian cotton at the current prices”.

Trade officials expect Indian prices are likely to remain static despite an estimated harvest of 16.6m bales against 15.8m bales in 1997-98.The margin of error in cotton crop forecasting in India is 20% and more, compared with less than 10% in the USA.

Indian mill consumption will be around 13.8m bales – against the original forecasts of 14.4m bales.