Bangladesh's cotton consumption is expected to keep rising. At present, Bangladesh imports cotton from the US, India, Uzbekistan and a host of African countries.
In fiscal 2004-05, the country imported three million bales of cotton but within a span of 10 years the country’s consumption has doubled. Cotton imports grew 8 per cent in fiscal 2013-14 and 6 per cent the previous year. Currently, local spinners and weavers have the capacity to consume 10 million bales of cotton, but they are unable to go into full production due to inadequate supply of gas and power to industrial units. The 400 local spinners supply 90 per cent of the demand for raw materials for the knitwear sub-sector of the apparel industry and 40 per cent for the woven sub-sector.
Garment exporters are looking to hit the $50 billion mark by the end of 2021, meaning more raw materials will be needed. This forecast for apparel exports looks optimistic. The country is the second largest cotton importer in the world after China. It recently hosted the first ever global cotton summit. Over 250 delegates from Bangladesh, India, Poland, US, Russia, Pakistan, China, UK, Turkey, Egypt, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and France participated.