India cotton imports seen lower than earlier estimated

Friday, 29 March 2013 02:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: India’s imports of cotton this year could reach 1.5 million bales, missing earlier estimates of more than two million, as expected sales from government stockpiles will limit the demand for overseas supplies, traders said.

Earlier this month, an official of the country’s textile industry said cotton imports could jump two-thirds to more than two million bales (340,000 tons) in 2012/13, as a seasonal output slowdown and stockbuilding push domestic prices higher in the world’s second-largest producer.

But that picture could change after India said on Wednesday the state-run Cotton Corp of India would offload stocks in the open market.

“India’s imports are not going to be that much now, as the government is going to start selling its stockpiles,” said Ritesh Agrawal, managing director of cotton trader Wisdom Cotton, based in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata. Agrawal is in Singapore to attend an industry conference.

“India’s cotton imports are a function of prices. If the government starts selling cotton, then local prices will come down and there will not be any need of imports,” said another trader based in Singapore, who declined to be identified in line with company policy.