Despite a 12 per cent decrease from the previous season attributed to trade tensions with the US and a slowdown in manufacturing during the COVID-19 containment, China is expected to remain the world’s largest importer of cotton lint and import 1.8 million tonne of cotton in 2019-20, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).
As tariffs on cotton lint increased in 2018-19, making US cotton 25 per cent more costly to Chinese importers compared to other growths, China had also increased the total volume of imports of cotton lint. As China increased its total imports of cotton lint from 1.3 million tonne in 2017-18 to 2.1 million tonne in 2018-19, US cotton exports to China decreased from 528,000 tonne in 2018 to 360,000 tonne in 2019.
Comparing the August through April period for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, global imports for the nine-month period are estimated at 1.245 million tonne, a 22 per cent decrease from the previous period, the ICAC period said.
For the 2019-20 season, Brazil is expected to export over 1.8 million tonne globally and through April 2020 (where the latest data is available), has exported an estimated 527,000 tonne to China, a 30 per cent increase from the previous period. The United States is expected to export 3 million tonne globally and through April has exported an estimated 277,000 tonne to China, a 29 per cent increase from the previous period. Other countries and regions exporting to China that had seen increases during the 2018-19 season are showing declines in exports to China in the August through April period.