China will import a smaller quantity of cotton during the sector's fiscal year 2007, which ends in August, an industry official said on Wednesday.
Cotton imports will fall because the stagnant textile industry needs less yarn, Shi Jianwei, vice president of the China Cotton Association, told a symposium on the development of the cotton industry. The event was held in conjunction with an international cotton trade fair here in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
Shi estimated fiscal 2007 cotton imports at 2.6 million tons, which would fall below the anticipated amount of 2.8 million tons.
He also estimated that China used 6 million tons of cotton, including 1.32 million tons of imports, to produce 11.85 million tons of yarn from September through March, up 11.5 percent from the previous comparable period.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China grew 5.59million hectares of cotton and harvested 7.6 million tons of the fiber in the 2007 fiscal year.
Shi predicted there would be a slight increase in the sown area of cotton for fiscal 2008 but cotton output would remain at the production level of fiscal 2007.
China imported a record amount of 4.11 million tons of cotton in fiscal 2005 but only 2.28 million tons in 2006.
India overtook the United States as China's largest cotton supplier in fiscal 2007.
(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2008)