Cotton Imports Up

As quota-free textiles trade approaches its first anniversary, cotton sheets appear to be the category most significantly impacted.

The U.S. government's preliminary report on textiles imports for the first 11 months of 2005 shows that year-over-year cotton sheet imports raced ahead by 84.9 percent.

Gains were substantial for: China, up 504.9 percent; Brazil, up 406.4 percent; and Pakistan up 405.6 percent. Even Turkey, which has mostly lost ground as a supplier to the United States, boosted shipments by 101.5 percent.

The largest single shipper of cotton sheets to the country during the first 11 months was actually Portugal, although its volume dropped by 30 percent. India, the second larger shipper by total volume, jumped ahead 61.2 percent.

Total cotton terry towel imports through the end of November rose 36.6 percent. The biggest gainers were China, up 308.6 percent, and Pakistan, up 128.5 percent. India — whose total volume year-to-date is more than three times China's — rose 20.3 percent. Brazil — which did twice as much volume as China — gained by 40.4 percent.

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