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  • Expansion of retail cotton use

    Chapter 1 - The world cotton market - Overview 


    The rate of expansion of world cotton consumption accelerated for the fourth year in 2005, and did so while consumption of other fibres stagnated. World cotton consumption increased every year between 1998 and 2006.

    Lower prices of cotton relative to other fibres, strong economic growth, and the popularity and greater availability of cotton products compared to products made of other fibres supported increases in cotton consumption. Contrary to the trend in the overall textile market, increases in world cotton consumption in 2005 were concentrated in developing countries (see figure 1.9). The world consumed an additional 1.8 million tons of cotton products in 2005, and of that additional consumption, developing countries accounted for 72%, industrialized countries for 26%, and Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for 2%. As cotton consumption has increased in developing countries at higher rates in recent years, developing countries’ share of the world end-use cotton market increased to more than 50% in 2005.

    Source : ICAC

    Relative cotton prices declined between 2003 and 2005, and in 2005 cotton prices were at their lowest level relative to polyester since 1992. Importantly, cotton prices have been less volatile in recent years than they were in the 1990s. Cotton prices, as measured by the Cotlook A Index, declined from an annual average of $0.63 per pound in 2003, to an average $0.62 per pound in 2004 and $0.55 per pound in 2005.