India, the world's second-biggest cotton grower having already exported 8.8 million bales of natural fibre and is expected to ship 10 million bales in the current 2013-14 marketing year will see a downward trend in its cotton exports in the 2014-15 marketing year starting August as exportable supplies will be curbed by domestic demand and lower production.
According to the latest report on cotton by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Indiaâ€™s cotton exports are likely to plunge by 23 percent to 7.7 million bales in the marketing year 2014-15. One bale comprises of 170 kg of cotton.
The country's total cotton production is pegged lower at 36 million bales for the 2014-15 marketing year, as against 37.2 million bales in the current year, due to probably lower crop yields. India is expected to again be a regional supplier to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia. India exports medium-to-long staple cotton (25-32 mm length) to China, Bangladesh and Southeast Asian countries. China will likely be the key determiner of India's export volumes as per USDA.
India will likely have to import extra long staple and quality long staple cotton (28-34mm) and sporadically also import medium or short staple cotton (below 22 mm) to complement domestic supplies for processing and re-exporting as high end textiles. These imports typically take place from August to November, prior to the onset of the Indian harvest.
The Indian government is expected to monitor the pace of exports and look to implementing measures to control exportable supplies to save up supplies for the domestic textile sector.
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