Bangladesh is expected to outstrip China as the world’s largest importer of cotton this financial year, according to the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
Available data shows that Bangladesh’s imports increased from 0.7 million tonnes in 2012 to 1.2 million metric tons in October and November 2015, while Chinese imports over the same period of time declined from 5.3 million tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes.
The increased Bangladesh imports were largely because of increased production at the spinning mills that supply its wares to the export-oriented apparel sector as well as the burgeoning local market. The number of spinning mills has also increased and currently stands at over 400.
The Chinese decline in imports was due to a number of reasons including abandoning the stockpiling policy and imposition of quotas.
Currently Bangladesh imports 40 per cent of its cotton from India, 20-22 per cent from Central Asia, 13 per cent from Africa and 7 per cent from USA.