ECONOMY

Turkey boosts demand for cotton from US, Greece

Turkey has overtaken China as the biggest buyer of US cotton, US data showed on Friday, as Chinese buyers have boosted their purchases of lower-taxed yarn and cut back on buying raw cotton.

Continuing a five-months-long trend since the August 1 start of the 2013/14 crop marketing season, data for the week to December 19 showed Turkey was the top buyer.

It bought 83,400 bales of upland cotton, double that of China.

Turkey’s renewed appetite for US fiber has been a pocket of strength as US traders and growers worry that a decision by Beijing, reported on Friday, to dismantle its three-year stockpiling program will erode foreign demand and hurt prices.

Since the start of the season, Turkey has bought almost 1.72 million 480-lb bales of upland cotton, up more than 40 percent from the same period last year.

Turkey’s consumption is expected to hit a seven-year high of 6.2 million bales this season while regional supplies fall, boosting its appetite for fiber from the United States, Greece and Australia, according to traders.

[Reuters]