The big news in cotton this year is the arrival of cotton yoga pants and cotton duvet covers, as well as the arrival in the UK of cotton underwear and cotton blankets.
But for the uninitiated, cotton is one of the most versatile plant products on the planet, and has been growing at a rate of over 1,000 tonnes per annum in the last decade.
According to the UK government, India’s cotton production is estimated to have grown by over 6,000 per cent between 2014 and 2020.
In fact, India produced nearly 4,000m tonnes of cotton in 2020, while China produced 3.5m tonnes, and Brazil produced 3m tonnes.
The growth rate of cotton has been in steady decline since 2010, and now there are signs that the decline will be rapid.
India’s cotton exports have declined by over 70 per cent since the mid-1990s, and in 2016, India imported a record amount of cotton.
The trend is likely to continue as India’s demand for cotton increases, while Chinese demand for the cotton exports will decrease, leading to higher prices for the Indian consumers.
The cotton industry is facing a serious shortage of the crop.
According to the World Bank, India is the only country in the world that is unable to meet its demand for both cotton and cotton yarn, and the situation is set to worsen in the coming years.
Despite India’s growing economy, its exports to the world are also declining.
According the World Trade Organization (WTO), India’s exports to China fell from $2.2bn in 2017 to $1.6bn in 2020.
India is also facing a major slowdown in the growth of its economy.
The WTO’s International Trade Committee says India’s trade with China is expected to contract by 7 per cent in 2021.
The country’s trade deficit with China stood at $1,947m in 2020 and $2,632m in 2021, according to the WTO.
It is not surprising that China is keen on India’s lucrative cotton exports, as it has a large presence in the country.
India’s top cotton supplier to China is China Minsheng, which has a major presence in Guangzhou.
China Minshen is one the biggest exporters of cotton yarn in the whole world, accounting for around 70 per a per cent of the total global supply.
In 2018, China Minesha, the company that owns China Minjing, exported around $2bn worth of cotton to India.
China Mainsheng is the largest cotton yarn producer in the global market, and it has an area of about 500,000 hectares in India, according the Indian government.
In a letter to the PM, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) said, “Our bilateral cooperation with India will increase in the near future.
Our two sides are currently working to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and cotton-based industries.
We are looking forward to further strengthening our bilateral ties in the fields of agriculture, cotton-related industries and tourism and infrastructure.”
In a recent visit to India, Chinese President Xi Jinping also congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The Chinese side will actively work for the establishment and development of an Asian-Indian trade and investment corridor,” Xi added.