• Trends in mill use of fibre

    Chapter 1 - The world cotton market - Overview


    World textile fibre consumption is driven by three major economic variables: income, population growth and fibre prices. World demand for textile fibres has increased at an impressive pace since the 1950s. From 7.6 million tons in 1950, textile fibre consumption increased to 56 million tons in 2004 (see figure 1.8). While about 50% of the increase was the result of population growth, the remaining 50% was the result of higher income per capita, declines in real textile prices, and competition, which generated new uses for textile fibres. However, the rate of growth of fibre consumption has decelerated gradually. The average annual rate of growth of textile fibre consumption was 3.7% during the 1960s, 3.1% during the 1970s, 2.5% during the 1980s and 2.7% during the 1990s. Growth of the two major economic variables that determine textile consumption, income and population, decelerated during the 1990s compared with the 1960s.


    Source : ICAC

    An exogenous factor that has supported textile consumption in the last few years is the gradual integration of textile trade into World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. By December 2004, just over half of world textile trade had already been gradually integrated, and on 1 January 2005, all textile trade was integrated into WTO rules. Therefore, quotas agreed under the Multifibre Arrangement (MFA) no longer exist. Research by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) Secretariat, using previous joint work with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), suggests that because of textile quota elimination, the world was consuming half a million tons more cotton by the end of 2005. A large portion of the gains in cotton consumption due to quota elimination probably occurred between 1995 and 2004, particularly since January 1, 2002.

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    Cotton Exporter's Guide

    Brochure - African cotton promotion
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