Following a period of stagnation during the pandemic, the textile sector has begun to rebound strongly, and demand for cotton has increased. Cotton production is expected to rise by 5% in 2021, but demand will outstrip supply, driving up prices even further. The expanding worldwide population will be the primary driver of growth in the cotton market.
Cotton yields are expected to be high in the United States, Brazil, Australia, and Pakistan as a result of excellent meteorological conditions and increased harvested area. China, on the other hand, will reduce cotton production, leaving India as the leading producer with a 24 percent share of the global total.
Strong competition from other natural and functionally equivalent materials, such as hemp or flax, as well as synthetic textile materials, will stifle market growth.
Cotton lint exports to other countries fell -9.2 percent to 8.1 million tonnes in 2020, the lowest level since 2016. Cotton exports fell considerably in value terms to $13.1 billion (IndexBox estimates) in 2020. The United States is still the leading cotton fibre exporter, followed by India and Brazil. Recycling will drastically lower these amounts while also ensuring the long-term stability of natural water resources.
China is the world’s largest market for imported cotton lint, accounting for 29% of total imports. Vietnam and Pakistan are ranked second and third, respectively. In 2020, the average cotton import price was $1,706 per tonne, a -5.3 percent decrease from the previous year. The average pricing varies little between the major importing countries.