An expected 17 million ton cotton supply shortfall by 2010 will require China to import 70% of its cotton needs, Xu Wenying, chairman of the China Cotton and Textile Association, told China Textile News. Based on the current rate of expansion in the textiles sector, which Xu said was growing 20% a year in terms of cotton yarn used, China, which is the world’s largest cotton consumer, would need 24 million tons of cotton a year by 2010. Although China is the world’s largest cotton producer, National Bureau of Statistics figures showed domestic cotton output was just 6.73 million tons in 2006. Xu predicted output would rise to 7 million tons in 2010, but this would still leave the country 17 million tons short. China plans to install more than 10 million spindles this year to increase cotton yarn output 1.5 million tons to 20 million tons by the end of the year, which will require 13 million tons of raw cotton. The China National Cotton Reserves Corporation (CNCRC) said Monday that China's cotton sales had jumped 48.4% year-on-year to 6.05 million tons by July 18. A CNCRC survey found the price of cotton had stabilized due to increased supply with the selling of the state cotton reserves since July 16, following continued rises over previous months as textile manufacturers increased cotton stocks.  Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, a futures market dealing with agricultural products, reported that its January 2008 cotton contract was priced at US$1,978.9 (RMB15,040) per ton on July 19, down US$42.1 (RMB320) from July 16. Xu added that purchases of raw cotton accounted for 70% of the costs of China’s textile industry.

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