AHMEDABAD: Uncertain crop conditions, a stronger rupee and weak international prices are some of the factors that are set to push India’s cotton imports for the year 2018-19 to a record in recent years.
Trade estimates suggest India may end-up importing cotton in excess of 27 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) on the dismal crop outlook following water scarcity in the growing regions of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. “This year, we will see more imports than we saw in recent years. But the trend will depend on multiple factors. Even if imports are higher than last year, they will face quality limitations. All the good quality cotton of the US, Australia and Brazil has already been sold. For the remaining cotton, not all the Indian mills can consume that,” said Atul Ganatra, President of the Cotton Association of India.
As far as India’s cotton exports are concerned it is likely to be lower by about 30 per cent owing to the unfavourable currency exchange rate and availability of cheaper alternative sources.
Amid the trade war with the US, the world’s largest buyer, China, has focussed cotton purchases more on Australia and Brazil due to the cost advantage offered by those countries.