Cotton production in any given country can be measured using various criteria. The yield per hectare, or the amount of cotton produced per unit of land area, is the first and most important criterion. This is a significant marker of productivity and efficiency. Another criterion is the cotton’s quality, which is measured in terms of fiber length, strength, and uniformity.
Metric tons are a common unit of measurement in the cotton industry. One metric ton equals 1,000 kilograms or about 2,204.62 pounds. The weight of harvested cotton is typically recorded in metric tons when measuring cotton production. This measurement can track and compare production levels over time and across regions and countries.
Importance Of Cotton In Global Trade
Cotton is a vital commodity in global trade, having a significant impact on economies and livelihoods throughout the world. Cotton is a dynamic natural fiber used to make various products ranging from clothing and textiles to paper and medical supplies. Cotton’s global demand has led to substantial trade in raw cotton, cottonseed, cotton oil, cotton yarn and fabric.
Cotton exports are essential to the economic growth and development of many countries, including the United States, India, Brazil, and Australia. The cotton trade also contributes to reducing poverty in many developing countries, where the cotton industry generates income and employment for millions of people.
|Ranking||Country||Thousand Metric Tons Per Year|
Source: International Cotton Advisory Committee Report, March 2023
China is the world’s leading cotton producer, making up almost one-third of global cotton cultivation. China began its ambitious cotton production strategy in the 2000s, with the aim of improving crop yield. Cotton production in China has increased remarkably as a result of a combination of modern agricultural practices such as improved seeds, mechanization, and irrigation.
Based on the International Cotton Advisory Committee’s most recent report, released in March of 2023, China’s cotton production reached an all-time high of 5,980 thousand metric tons in 2023. China as the largest cotton producer has a major impact on the overall global cotton market; it all happened because of their government’s consistent strategy on cotton cultivation.
Cotton cultivation has a long history in India, with evidence dating back to ancient times. India is now the world’s second-largest cotton producer, accounting for even more than 20% of global cotton supplies. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Punjab are the major cotton-producing states in India.
Cotton production in India reached 5,200 thousand metric tons at the start of 2023. The Indian government has enacted a number of policies to assist cotton farmers, such as minimum support prices, subsidies, and crop insurance schemes. The government additionally runs programs, such as the Better Cotton Initiative, to promote sustainable cotton production.
3- United States
Cotton production in the United States also has a long history, dating back to the colonial era. The United States is currently the world’s third-largest cotton producer, with roughly 15% of the global cotton supply. Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi are the major cotton-producing states in the United States. Cotton production in the United States reached 3,196 thousand metric tons in 2023.
Subsidies, loans, and crop insurance are just some of the policies put in place by the US federal government to assist cotton farmers. The government has also invested in research and innovation to improve the productivity and stability of cotton production. The US government plans to boost cotton production in the future through precision farming and other modern technologies.
Brazil has emerged as a global cotton producer, becoming the world’s fourth-largest cotton producer and exporter. Mato Grosso, Bahia, and Goiás are the main cotton-producing states in Brazil. Brazil’s cotton production reached 3,020 thousand metric tons in 2023.
The Brazilian Cotton Genome Project is one example of how the government has invested in research and development to improve cotton yields and quality. Favorable weather conditions, access to modern technology, and a strong agricultural sector have all contributed to Brazil’s success in cotton production.
Another notable state in cotton production is Australia, which is one of the world’s top exporters of high-quality cotton. Queensland and New South Wales are the two most important cotton-producing states in Australia. By the end of 2022, Australia’s cotton production managed to reach 981 thousand metric tons.
To help the industry grow, the government has also invested in irrigation infrastructure and pest management programs. Australia’s cotton sector has been praised for its high-quality, environmentally friendly manufacturing methods. However, challenges such as climate variability and access to skilled labor continue to have an impact on the industry’s future growth.
Turkey’s major cotton-producing regions are Adana, Gaziantep, Anlurfa, and Mersin. Cotton production in Turkey reached 886 thousand metric tons in 2023. Turkey’s cotton industry has been lauded for its high-quality cotton production and advanced textile manufacturing capabilities, helping to push the country to prominence in the global textile market.
However, obstacles such as a lack of water resources and competition from low-cost producers continue to have an impact on the industry’s future growth. Despite these challenges, Turkey’s cotton industry remains an important contributor to the country’s economy and a global player in the cotton market.
Pakistan is one of the world’s major cotton producers, with Punjab and Sindh among its most essential cotton-producing areas. Pakistan’s cotton production meet 850 thousand metric tons in 2023. To assist smallholder farmers, the government has launched initiatives such as the Kissan Package.
Despite its prominence in the global cotton market, Pakistan’s cotton sector has confronted challenges such as pest infestations, climate change, and water scarcity. Furthermore, the industry has been influenced by a decrease in cotton yields as a result of the prevalence of low-quality seeds.
Uzbekistan is also a sizable cotton producer in the world. Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara are the biggest cotton-producing regions in Uzbekistan. Production of cotton in Uzbekistan surpassed 590 thousand metric tons by 2023. The government has also launched initiatives, such as the Uzbekistan Sustainable Cotton Programme, to enhance the standard and conservation of cotton production.
On the other hand, the Uzbek cotton industry has endured criticism for using forced labor in cotton extraction. The government has put in place a tax policy to reduce the use of forced labor in the cotton industry, which requires cotton customers to pay a tax to a special fund to finance the fight against forced labor in the sector.
Greece is a relatively small cotton producer in the global market, with the major cotton-producing regions being Thessaly, Central Macedonia, and Western Greece. In 2023, Greece’s cotton production reached 304 thousand metric tons.
The Greek government has introduced tax policies to support the industry, including a tax credit for farmers who invest in renewable energy and a reduced VAT rate for cotton products. The Greek cotton industry faced challenges such as competition from low-cost producers and declining domestic demand for cotton products.
Mexico is a considerable cotton grower in the global market, with Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas being the primary cotton-producing states. Mexico’s cotton production reached 233 thousand metric tons in 2023.
The Mexican government has launched initiatives to promote self-sustaining cotton production, such as biodynamic cotton farming and methods that minimize the consumption of chemicals and water in crop production. In addition, the government has introduced programs to improve the freshness of cotton obtained in Mexico and to contribute to the growth of domestic cotton processing and manufacturing industries.