• Mill consumption

    Chapter 1 - The world cotton market - Overview 


    World mill use of cotton rose from 6 million tons in the early 1950s to 26 million tons in the mid-2000s (see figure 1.10). The average rate of increase in world cotton mill use over the last six decades was about 290,000 tons per year. Mirroring end-use consumption, world mill consumption of cotton was stagnant during the first half of the 1990s, growing by only 0.6% between 1990 and 1997, but increased rapidly thereafter. In the early 1990s, mill consumption of cotton declined dramatically in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, from 2.5 million tons in 1990/91 to 730,000 tons in 1998/99, offsetting gains elsewhere in the world. Mill consumption of cotton in the former COMECON group of countries (Council for Mutual Economic Cooperation), an economic grouping of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Viet Nam and Cuba, recovered to 1 million tons in 2005/06. Mill consumption of cotton in industrialized countries remained at about 4 million tons during the early 1990s, but declined rapidly after 1998/99 to 1.8 million tons in 2005/06. High cost structures and increased import competition from developing countries caused the cotton textile industries in many industrialized countries to reduce production beginning in the 1990s.


    Source: ICAC

    Mill consumption of cotton in developing countries increased at an annual rate of 3.9%, from 8.5 million tons in 1980/81 to 12.3 million tons in 1990/91. Growth of mill consumption decelerated during the first seven years of the 1990s to an average annual rate of 2.7%, with annual consumption reaching 14.3 million tons in 1997/98, but regained strength since 1998/99, growing at an average annual rate of 6% to exceed 23 million tons in 2006/07. The bulk of the increase since 1998 occurred in China, but important expansions were also registered in India, Pakistan and Turkey. As a result, the processing of cotton continued to be concentrated in developing countries, and their share of world mill consumption rose from 67% in 1990/91 to 90% in 2006/07, compared to 46% in 1970/71 and 28% in 1950/51.

    For the past eight years, China has been the driving force of the world textile industry (see figure 1.11). Between 1998/99 and 2006/07, the increase in mill consumption of cotton in China accounted for 84% of additional consumption worldwide. The Chinese industry processed 10.5 million tons of cotton in 2006/07, an increase of about 6 million tons since 1998/99. Chinese mill use of cotton in 2006/07 accounted for 40% of global mill use, up from 23% in 1998/99. The textile industry in China is highly dependent on the export market, and China has increased its share of world textile and apparel exports in the last eight years. During the 1990s, mill consumption of cotton became more concentrated in the largest processing countries. In 1980/81, the six countries that are the largest processors today (China, India, Pakistan, the United States, Turkey, and Brazil), accounted for 51% of world mill consumption. These countries accounted for 57% of world mill consumption in 1990/91, and 79% in 2006/07.


    Source: ICAC

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    Cotton Exporter's Guide

    Brochure - African cotton promotion
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