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  Business   In Other News  06 Apr 2018  US-China tiff to help Indian farmers

US-China tiff to help Indian farmers

REUTERS
Published : Apr 6, 2018, 5:07 am IST
Updated : Apr 6, 2018, 5:07 am IST

Beijing needs to import 80 lakh bales of cotton from US.

India benefits from geographical proximity to China compared to other competitors.
 India benefits from geographical proximity to China compared to other competitors.

Mumbai: India, the world’s second-biggest cotton exporter, is hoping to treble shipments of the fibre to China next year as Beijing seeks to replenish stockpiles and imposes a 25 per cent import tax on cargoes from the United States.

Despite India’s efforts to grab a bigger piece of the Chinese market, cotton from the United States, the world’s biggest exporter, has held sway for the past few years. But China’s announcement that it will impose tariffs on 106 US commodities, including cotton, could now tilt the balance in India’s favour.

“China’s move to impose duty on US cotton shipments will help us,” Atul Ganatra, president of the Cotton Association of India, said.

India is looking to sell 25 lakh to 30 lakh bales, each of 170 kg, to China in the next season beginning in October, up from around eight lakh bales of expected exports in the 2017-18 marketing year, Mr Ganatra said.

China’s decision to slap the 25 per cent import tax on cotton supplies from the United States comes as Beijing’s own stockpile is depleting fast. Its total imports are expected to rise 38 per cent to 80-90 lakh bales in 2018-19 as it needs to shore up depleting domestic reserves.

“India has always managed to grab at least 25 per cent of China’s total cotton imports,” Mr Ganatra said. It was too early to know the exact impact of China’s tariff on US cotton, but India’s exports could reach up to 30 lakh  bales, he said.

During the current 2017-18 year, China is scheduled to import 25 lakh bales of cotton from the US. Other suppliers include Brazil and Australia.

China produces about 3.2 crore bales of cotton and its textile mills consume around 4.5 crore bales, allowing imports to meet the shortfall. “After large-scale imports, China was sitting on a stockpile of about 6 crore bales four years ago, which is now likely to come down to 1-1.5 crore bales by the end of this year, giving India a chance to raise its exports,” Mr Ganatra said.

India benefits from geographical proximity to China compared to other competitors.

As well as lower freight rates, shipments from India reach China in about two weeks compared to an average of three to six weeks from other suppliers, said Chirag Patel, chief executive of Jaydeep Cotton Fibres Pvt Ltd, a leading exporter.

“There is little room for Chinese production to go up and significant amou-nts of stocks from Chinese stockpiles are of poor quality. It has no option but to ramp up imports,” said a Singapore-based dealer with a global trading firm.   

Tags: chinese market, cotton fibres, world’s biggest exporter