Bangladesh is now the biggest buyer for India. More than 25 lakh bales have been bought till now. Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia are prominent markets for Indian cotton. Traditional buyers such as China and Pakistan have cut down on their purchases.
Exports to China fell by 55 per cent between 2016-17 and 2017-18. Exports to Pakistan remained almost flat in 2016-17 and in 2017-18. However, higher prices are hurting exports. For most of the time last year, Pakistan had banned imports from India. But when Pakistan wanted the fiber, purchases were made around March-April. But cotton exports are again being banned by Pakistan.
The current rate of Rs 49,000 per candy seems to be high for the trade considering the grim situation in the export market. Forward contracts are also lackluster. For November-December forward contracts have been executed for about five lakh bales. Uncertainty on the crop and yield is impacting the price scenario. On an all-India level, about 40 per cent cotton sowing is yet to take place as rains in most regions were delayed.