* Weak rupee, good crop help spur exports to Bangladesh,
* But overall shipments likely to fall on reduced Chinese
* China is preparing to scrap cotton stockpiling
By Meenakshi Sharma
MUMBAI, Jan 21 A spurt in demand from Bangladesh
and Pakistan for Indian raw cotton will help New Delhi offset
falling exports to its top client China, traders said.
A bountiful crop and a weaker rupee have made Indian cotton
cheaper for overseas textile and clothing makers, many of which
are rushing to meet increased orders from the United States and
Europe as the global economy picks up.
India, the world's No.2 producer and exporter of cotton, has
seen growing appetite from its second and third largest
customers, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as other key
clothing producers such as Turkey and Vietnam, the traders said.
"Our company's exports to Bangladesh have doubled between
November and January from the year ago period," said an official
from a leading cotton exporter in the eastern city of Kolkata.
He declined to be named.
This pick-up in buying will help stem an overall decline in
India's cotton exports as Beijing prepares to scrap its
controversial stockpiling scheme. That step could boost volumes
of locally-grown cotton available in Chinese markets, curbing
demand for imports.
Indian exporters told Reuters they expected to ship 8-9
million bales of the fibre in the crop year to September 2014,
down from 10.1 million bales the year before.
The weaker rupee and a good harvest have been key in
boosting exports to destinations other than China, said Suresh
Kotak, chairman of Mumbai-based brokerage Kotak Commodities.
The Indian rupee fell 11 percent in 2013, while
better yields have helped Indian farmers churn out 37.5 million
bales of cotton so far in the year that started in October,
nearly 3 percent more than a year earlier.
"Cotton imports from India to Bangladesh are rising because
of competitive prices and a short lead time," said Mohammad
Ayub, president of the Bangladesh Cotton Association.
Indian exporters are currently offering cotton at around 93
cents per pound, while competitors such as the United States,
South Africa, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are selling at 97-102
Bangladesh's readymade garment exports soared 20 percent to
nearly $12 billion for the six months to December, according to
the latest data from its government, despite a spate of deadly
accidents that have hit the country's multi-billion textile
(Additional reporting by Ruma Paul in Dhaka; Editing by Mayank
Bhardwaj and Joseph Radford)