World Trade Organization (WTO) hosted the World Cotton Day (WCD) in Geneva on October 07 for the first time aiming to celebrate the benefits of cotton, ranging from its qualities as a natural fiber to the people obtaining from its production, transformation, trade and consumption.
World Cotton Day also aims to highlight the challenges that the world’s cotton economies face, as cotton is significant for the underdeveloped, developing and developed economies worldwide.
The WTO Secretariat organized the event in collaboration with the Secretariats of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).
World Cotton Day gave exposure to more than 30 countries for producers, processors and businesses, and more than 400 participants celebrated cotton in Geneva with thousands more.
Raw cotton is the 246th most traded product and the 1204th most complex product according to the Product Complexity Index (PCI). Current estimates for world cotton production are about 25 million tons or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world’s arable land.
Cotton is perfectly suited for arid climatic regions. Overall, cotton occupies only 2.1% of the world’s arable land and still meets the 27%requirement of the world’s textile sector. China is the world’s largest cotton producer, but most of it is used domestically. The United States and India have been the largest exporters for many years.
Bangladesh still behind the cotton production line but CDB (Cotton Development Board) of Bangladesh hopes to produce 2.5 lakh bales of cotton by 2021, which would meet nearly 5-7% of the annual demand for the fiber in Bangladesh, also the largest cotton importer in the world. Last year, Bangladesh imported 8.28 million bales of cotton (one bale equals to 282 kilograms).
In the last fortnight, the prices of cotton have fallen by 18% in the international market, but domestic prices have fallen by only 5% so far. Presumably, low cotton cultivation and decades of low productivity news have kept prices up this season.
As such, the last days of news about the decline in the production of yarn in 50-60% of the mills in the south and north are not surprising. Bangladesh is also facing this kind of problem.