World 2012/13 cotton imports are expected to decline 2 percent from a year ago to 43.7 million bales, due largely to a sharp decline in China’s demand for foreign cotton.

China is estimated to import 16.5 million bales in 2012/13, down 33 percent from the preceding year, but up 1.5 million bales from previous month’s estimate, based on reports of additional allocations of import quotas to mills.

At this current level, China will account for 38 percent of world cotton imports, down from a global share of 55 percent in the preceding marketing year.

The decline in China’s imports is partially offset by increased imports by Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

India is expected to export 7.0 million bales in 2012/13, up 1.5 million bales from the previous month and 37 percent lower than a year ago.

USDA’s April WASDE raised Australia’s 2012/13 exports by 200,000 bales to 4.8 million bales from previous month’s estimate based on the pace of season-to-date exports from the Southern Hemisphere country.

The African Franc Zone nations of Burkina Faso and Mali are expected to export 975,000 bales and 900,000 bales in 2012/13, up 63 percent and 44 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

The United States is expected to export 13.0 million bales in 2012/13, representing an increase of 250,000 bales from the previous month and an 11-percent increase from 2011/12.

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