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Thai Cotton Imports Likely to Increase

12 April 2013
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

THAILAND - Marketing Year (MY) 2011/12 cotton imports declined significantly to 1.3 million bales as spinning mills were adversely affected by widespread flooding during the previous year.

In addition, Thailand’s textile and garment industry contended with a slowing domestic and global economy, which resulted in a 28 per cent contraction in textile and garment production.

Sources indicate that spinning mills have gradually recovered in the first half of MY2012/13, but capacity utilisation is still 10 to 20 per cent below normal levels due to the continued global economic slowdown and an increase in the Thai national minimum wage.

Although MY2012/13 cotton imports are likely to increase to 1.5 million bales, they are still well below normal import levels that averaged 1.8 million bales over the past ten years.

Spinners still hold large inventories of high-cost cotton yarn, thus, they will likely continue to
limit their purchases to cheaper cotton due to liquidity problems.

In MY2013/14, cotton imports will likely increase to 1.6 million bales in anticipation of a full textile industry recovery driven by strong domestic and global economic growth.

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