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Bangla’s cotton import to touch 7.1 mn bales

Jun 15, 2017
Bangla’s cotton import to touch 7.1 mn bales

Bangladesh's cotton import is expected to touch 7.1 million bales in 2017-18, further consolidating its position as the world's largest importer of the fibre, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2016-17, 7 million bales are expected to be imported. One bale equals 480 pounds or 218 kg, and the cotton year begins on August 1 and ends on July 31.

Bangladesh has overtaken China after the latter stopped sourcing for having ample stocks of its own. The demand for the natural fibre is on the rise in Bangladesh as it is the only country that is still mainly dependent on raw cotton for making yarns and fabrics. The other countries have shifted to other manmade fibres like filament, polyesters and viscose, as a result of which the global consumption of cotton is on the decline in recent years. 

Currently, the ratio of cotton and manmade fibre use is 28:72 worldwide, with a pronounced tilt towards artificial fibres, due to its lower price, improved functionality and ease of use, according to International Textile Manufacturers Federation. However, the ratio is not applicable in Bangladesh yet as more than 90 percent of the yarns and fabrics are made from natural cotton in the country. 
By the end of 2020, cotton consumption in Bangladesh will hit 7.9 million bales. Currently, Bangladesh imports 55 per cent of its demand for cotton from India, thanks to favourable prices, geographical proximity, shorter lead time and the quality of the fibre.