HARBIN, China, June 7 (Reuters) - China is set to return as a major cotton importer, taking 10 million to 15 million bales (2 million to 3 million tonnes) each year by 2019/20, said Tim Bourgois, head of the cotton platform at major trading house Louis Dreyfus Company.
Imports are estimated at 5 million bales in 2017/18, he told an industry conference in Harbin on Thursday.
The forecasts come after China’s cotton industry association said earlier this week that Beijing would issue more import quota to boost overseas purchases.
Domestic cotton usage is expected to increase by 1.5 million bales to 41.5 million bales in 2018/19, said Bourgois.
Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Tom Hogue