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Cotton report for 2005/06

Feb '07
The figure of up 3.2% from the previous year's GDP shows typically the evidence of steady recovery of the economy of Japan.

On the contrary, the various Japanese spinning mills have still been driven to cut down their spinning capacity of raw cotton. Japanese spinning mills continue operating overseas factories in other Asian countries with lower production costs.

Therefore, as of the end of 2005/06 cotton season, only 1.717 million cotton spindles remain in active operation. Taking further cut-down of Japanese mills capacity into consideration, it is very unlikely that the fore-mentioned 1.717 million spindles will be the bottom for the time being.

Cotton Imports
Cotton imports of Japan during 2005/06 season decreased to 640,000 bales, down 19% from the previous season. We failed to hold back the tendency of almost every year declining import from a peak of 3,840,000 bales in 1987/88 to 790,000 bales in 2004/05.

As for coming season's import outlook, further sharp decline to 600,000 bales or below will be most likely considered, although some optimists view that it is nearing the bottom line.

Australian imports fell to 155,000 bales, down 24% from last season which resulted in 5 years consecutive declines, partly because of their tight supply and higher price range compared with the U.S. cotton.

Cotton imports from U.S.A. declined to 249,000 bales, down 15% from the previous season despite their record high production, mainly because of Calif/Ariz. cotton higher price range and some shifts from Memphis/Eastern lower grade to Brazilian cotton.

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