The Central Asian country of Uzbekistan is both a leading cotton producer as well as exporter. The government there has been taking a lot of initiatives to boost domestic consumption of cotton. A Market Intelligence (MI) report from Fibre2Fashion

Uzbekistan is listed among the top cotton producers and exporters in the world. Since the marketing year (MY) 2016-17, the country has been reducing its targeted cotton planting area and cotton production. The cotton planted area in MY 2019-20 is expected to be about 1.06 million hectares (mha) with expected cotton production of about 729,080 metric tonnes.

Also, the domestic cotton consumption of the country has been growing year-on-year (YoY) with new investments, which has been diminishing the cotton exports. In MY 2019-20, the estimated domestic cotton consumption of Uzbekistan reached 649,907 metric tonnes and cotton exports plunged to 174,180 metric tonnes as the government focused on exports of cotton yarn, fabric and textiles with new investments, technologies and policies.

Figure 1: Uzbekistan Cotton Production (Metric Tonnes)

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Source: TexPro

Uzbekistan cotton production has been showing a regular decline due to the planning made by the Uzbekistan government, implemented since MY 2016-17. The domestic cotton production of Uzbekistan was 936,215 metric tonnes in MY 2013-14. It dropped to 801,226 metric tonnes in MY 2017-18 with the CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 3.8 per cent. It is anticipated to show a further decline at the rate of approximately 2 per cent to drop to 755,873 in MY 2020-21.

The government of Uzbekistan has planned to reduce the cotton planting area by 185,000 hectares (ha) as many field yields were lower than the country average. These consist of salinised and mountain regions where the growth of other crops could be facilitated. Once cotton planted areas decrease, the land could be allotted to other crops such as vegetables, orchards, fruits, vineyards, etc, with better yields as compared to cotton in the region. Also, some additional new cash crops have been introduced for farmers in smaller areas. It includes soybeans, saffron, chili peppers, potatoes, grains, etc.