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India posts highest growth amongst global cotton exporters
12
Sep '08
The global cotton scenario has undergone a paradigm shift and undergone drastic change in the last few years. Countries like India have vastly increased their cotton production as well as exports and in the process overtaken the US, considered the number two worldwide producer of cotton for long.

The US has seen its production as well shipments going down year on year. If the present production and export trend is maintained by India, it is expected to overtake the US in exports too in a few years time.

Total world exports of cotton which stood at 7.76 million tons in the cotton year 2004/05, rose to an astonishing 9.74 million tons in 2005/06.

This had more to do with a very high appetite for the white gold from China which imported 4.20 million tons in 2005/06 compared to just 1.39 million tons in 2004/05 a jump of an incredible 200 percent in a period of just one year.

But in the very next cotton year of 2006/07 exports fell to 8.12 million tons, due to a drop in demand from China which imported just 2.30 million tons, a drop of 45.23 percent when compared with 2005/06.

In the cotton year 2007/08 which just got over in July 2008, global shipments are estimated to touch 8.23 million tons. In comparison to 2006/07 it is a minuscule growth of just 1.35 percent.

For the year 2008/09 exports are projected to grow to 8.6 million tons and for 2009/10 it is once again expected to dip back to 8.22 million tons.

USA which for long had the privilege of being the number one exporter on the globe has seen its shipments dipping or staying stagnant in the last few years. Exports which stood at 3.14 million tons in 2004/05 rose to 3.82 million tons in 2005/06.

But in the following cotton year of 2006/07, the country saw its shipments slipping to levels those below of 2004/05. Exports fell to 2.83 million tons in that year which led to a negative growth of 25.01 percent.

But in the cotton season 2007/08 that just got over in July, exports of cotton are expected to rise to 3.02 million tons, a growth of 6.71 percent over the preceding cotton year. Shipments for the year 2008/09 are anticipated to once again grow to 3.18 million tons.

But the main point of worry is that as per estimates, exports are predicted to drop to 2.33 million tons in 2009/10 a fall of a highly uncomfortable 26.72 percent when compared with the preceding year.

India on the other hand has had a very good run with its shipments of cotton and has witnessed its exports growing by nine times in just a period of three years. In the cotton year 2004/05, the country had exported just 136,000 tons of cotton which is estimated to grow to 1.3 million tons in 2007/08.

Exports are further expected to grow to 1.58 million tons in 2008/09 and 1.72 million tons in 2009/10. All this has been made possible due to a corresponding growth in production which has also seen it grow from 4.13 million tons in 2004/05 to an expected 5.36 million tons in 2007/08 which translates in to a growth rate of 29.78 percent, again in just three years.

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