As imports by China drop, CCI eyes Bangladesh buyers

With China importing lesser cotton from India, the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has decided to scale up its exports to Bangladesh.

“CCI has started issuing advertisements inviting global parties to cottondirectly get registered with the agency for purchase of cotton for the Bangladesh market. A separate tender will be floated after the registration process is completed,” CCI CMD BK Mishra said. The agency had earlier put on hold its plan for a global tender for cotton sale. Bangladesh buys around 55-60 lakh bales from India. CCI chose Bangladesh as the logistics are better and easier to manage either by sea or roads.

China had been the largest importer of Indian cotton over the last three years. Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman had told the Rajya Sabha that China had imported cotton worth $696.5 million in the first 11 months of FY15. In FY14, India had exported $1,912.95-million cotton to China and $2237.38 million in 2012-13. In April-February 2014-15, India’s total export of cotton stood at $1707.59 million. Among India’s neighbouring countries, Bangladesh was the next largest importer. In 2014-15 till February, India exported cotton worth $510.26 million against $698.88 million in entire FY14. In 2012-13, Indian cotton exports to Bangladesh stood at $610.06 million.

Vietnam was in third place as cotton importer from India.

Mishra said the response from Bangladesh had been good and if the sale is successful, CCI plans to tap Vietnam market, too.

CCI has been placing 50,000 bales on a daily basis on the board for e-auction and around 80-90% of this has been picked up by mills. Till date, CCI has sold some 11.08 lakh bales through the auction. Arrivals are decreasing and have dropped to 10,000 to 20,000 bales a day and CCI will not increase its stocks, he said.