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The less appetite for cotton yarn in China also reflects the slowdown in global apparel orders

An interesting scenario emerged in the global textile market as China, the largest importer of cotton yarn in the world, cut its imports drastically and ended up exporting cotton yarn to India the world’s largest cotton yarn exporter.

The ban by the United States on Xinjiang cotton and zero-Covid restrictions coupled with supply chain disruptions also impacted China’s cotton imports. The decline in cotton yarn imports by China is equivalent to yarn spun by 3.5 million ginned cotton bales.

China imports yarn from India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan as its domestic spinning industry cannot fulfill its demand. This year’s cotton yarn imports by China were the lowest in the past decade. The sudden slowdown in yarn imports came as a shock to its exporting partners, all of whom scrambled to explore other cotton yarn markets. 

The value of cotton yarn imports by China declined to $2.8 billion in the first nine months of this year compared with imports worth $4.3 billion during the same period last year. This translates into a decline of 33.2 percent according to Chinese customs data.

The less appetite for cotton yarn in China also reflects the slowdown in global apparel orders. China still is the largest apparel producer and exporter in the world commanding more than 30 percent of the global apparel market. The yarn uptake is also low in other major textile economies because of lower apparel orders. This has created a yarn glut and many cotton yarn producers are forced to dispose of their yarn stocks at lower than production costs.

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