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Top cotton fabric importing countries in the world

Global cotton fabric imports totalled 2.3M tonnes in 2016, remaining relatively unchanged against the previous year level. In general, cotton fabric imports continue to indicate a slight shrinkage.

©hanohiki via 123RF
According to the report 'World: Woven Fabrics Of Cotton - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025' recently published by IndexBox, the pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010, when import increased by 5% y-o-y. Global cotton fabric import peaked at 2.5 million tonnes in 2007, however, from 2008 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

In value terms, cotton fabric imports totalled $12 billion in 2016. In general, cotton fabric imports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. Over the period under review, global cotton fabric imports reached its maximum level of $15 billion in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

Top ten importers


1. Bangladesh ($1,067.3 million)
2. Vietnam ($478.8 million)
3. USA ($432.8 million)
4. Indonesia ($413.9 million)
5. Italy ($407.8 million)
6. China ($249.1 million)
7. South Korea ($199.9 million)
8. Pakistan ($182.7 million)
9. India ($69.4 million)
10. Dominican Republic ($25.8 million)

Cotton fabric imports by country


In 2016, China (918,000 tonnes) represented the main importer for cotton fabric, committing 41% of total imports. It was distantly followed by Pakistan (178,000 tonnes), constituting 8% share of total cotton fabric imports. The Dominican Republic (88,000 tonnes), India (82,000 tonnes), Bangladesh (75,000 tonnes), Italy (52,000 tonnes), the U.S. (46,000 tonnes), South Korea (44,000 tonnes), Indonesia (40,000 tonnes), and Vietnam (39,000 tonnes) held the slight share of total imports.

China experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. At the same time, Bangladesh (+9.6%), Vietnam (+8.0%), Pakistan (+3.0%), and the Dominican Republic (+1.2%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Bangladesh emerged as the fastest growing importer/exporter in the world, with a CAGR of +9.6% from 2007-2016. India, and Indonesia experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, South Korea (-2.0%), the U.S. (-3.9%), and Italy (-6.3%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. While the share of China (3%), and Italy (2%) increased significantly, the share of Pakistan (-1.9%), and Bangladesh (-1.9%) displayed negative dynamics. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Bangladesh ($1.1 billion) constitutes the largest market for imported cotton fabric worldwide, making up 9% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Vietnam ($479 million), with the share of 4% of global imports. It was followed by the U.S., with the share of 4%.

In Bangladesh, cotton fabric imports expanded at an average annual rate of +24.2% over the period from 2007-2016. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates: Vietnam (+5.2% per year) and the U.S. (-1.2% per year).

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Cotton fabric import prices by country


In 2016, the average import price for cotton fabric amounted to $5,291 per tonne, going down by -7.6% against the previous year. Over the last nine years it increased at an average annual rate of +1.3%. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2011, when it surged by 25% y-o-y. In that year, average cotton fabric import price attained its maximum level of $6,520 per tonne. From 2012 to 2016, growth of average cotton fabric import price stood at a somewhat lower level.

Import prices varied noticeably by country of destination. the country with the highest import prices was Bangladesh ($14 per kg), while China ($271 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of cotton fabric import prices was attained by Pakistan (+44.2% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox
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