27 April 1998
Beijing denies dumping cotton
CHINA denied dumping charges over its recent sale of 218,000 tonnes of cotton on the world market. It said it planned to export more as domestic stockpiles mounted.
Chinas disposal affected world cotton futures and prompted some US growers to ask Washington to act against Beijing for dumping. China has been the worlds biggest cotton importer for several years, taking about 800,000 tonnes a year.
The reasons for the change are several. Farmers have planted more cotton to take advantage of generously subsidised state procurement prices, as grain harvests fall due to several bumper harvests.
Domestic demand is also falling as the countrys wider economic growth slows and the local textile industry slips into a sustained decline. This is partly because of competitive pressures from south-east Asia after devaluations in the regions currencies.
China has announced plans to sell 300,000 tonnes of cotton, of which the 218,000 tonnes represents the first shipment. Stockpiles amount to about 3.3 million tonnes, or about 40% of world stocks.
- Financial Times 27/04/98 page 4