Egypt's cotton exports doubled Y-o-Y in 2021; India largest importer

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Aug 2022

Egypt's cotton exports have nearly doubled on a year-on-year basis in August 2021, with India importing the largest amount of Egyptian cotton, according to data released on Wednesday by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Thoraya, 80 years old farmer harvests cotton for 5 $ per day in a field in the province of Al-Sharkia northeast of Cairo, Egypt, October 15, 2020. Reuters


By the end of last year's crop season, which started in September 2020 and ended in August 2021, the country exported 1,7 million kantars, compared to 874,000 kantars in the same period the year prior, a 101.5 percent increase.

According to CAPMAS, the rise in exports was spurred by a spike in local cotton production, which hit 2.3 million kantars in 2021, an increase of around 33 percent compared to a year prior.

Most the country's cotton exports in 2021, around 87 percent, were imported by India, around 1.5 million kantars, according to CAPMAS.

Egyptian cotton, which is known worldwide for its quality, is primarily used in the spinning, weaving, and clothing industry in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the largest importers of Egyptian cotton.

Due to the export increase, domestic consumption of cotton saw a remarkable drop of 31 percent to around 92,000 kantars, down from 135,000 kantars in 2020, according to CAPMAS.

The total stock of cotton hair – cotton cleared of seeds via gin machines – plummeted by 75 percent to 200,000 kantars by August 2021, compared to 900,000 Kantars in August 2020.

The Total stock of imported cotton hair reached 13,5000 kantars by August 2021, compared to 33,900 kantars in August 2020, a decrease of 60.3 percent.

The land allocated for planting the crop increased by 20 percent in 2021 to reach 85,000 hectares.

A rise in demand, coupled with a hike in prices in 2021, has encouraged farmers to keep growing cotton even after the end of the season.

Recently, Egypt has introduced a new auction system that allows farmers to sell their crops in line with international prices to boost production and revive the once-flourishing industry.

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