Role of Cotton Production in Global Economy

Nurmyrat Mommayev
Role of Cotton Production in Global Economy
Cotton is an important source of income and employment all over the world. (Photo: UzA)

The price of a pound of cotton, described as the white gold by commodity investors, hovers around $1.14 as of January 3, 2022. Cotton was the product that gained the most value with 4.8% in the last week of 2021, and analysts said demand for cotton remains strong. The possibily of reduced production and the increase in exports is expected to lead to the increase of the commodity’s price.

Cotton’s price is currently at its highest level in the last 10 years and is expected to drive up costs for clothing around the world.

Cotton is an important source of income and employment all over the world. Because of its high added value, the cotton industry has an important place especially in developing countries. Cotton is grown on 32 million hectares of land in about 100 countries. Although there has been no change in the cultivated area in the last 60 years, its yield per hectare has been increasing.

Cotton provides around 35% of the fibers produced in the world and is one of the most important crops used in the textile industry. If in 1970 the world's cotton fiber production was 12 million tons, it reached approximately 26 million tons in 2020.

Since cotton is an important raw material of the industrial sector, it has a strategic importance for the economies of many countries. Cotton is one of the agricultural products with the highest strategic importance in the economy of Turkmenistan. The cotton industry constitutes an important branch of the Turkmen economy with its employment and export contribution to the economy. Cotton is an important component of total exports for some countries. Cotton exports in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan account for 45%, 20% and 15% of total commodity exports, respectively, and makes a significant contribution to GDP in these countries (8% in Uzbekistan, 8.2% in Tajikistan and 4% in Turkmenistan).

Today, Turkmenistan is one of the world's top ten producers of cotton fiber with an annual output of more than 300 thousand tons. Cotton is the most important product of Turkmenistan's export in the agricultural sector. The country is a net exporter of cotton.

Last year, 1.25 million tons of raw cotton was harvested in Turkmenistan. According to the country’s official media, in 2021, 280 thousand tons of cotton was harvested in Ahal velayat, 10 thousand tons in Balkan velayat, 275 thousand tons in Dashoguz velayat, 320 thousand tons in Lebap velayat and 365 thousand tons in Mary velayat.

Nurmyrat Mommayev,

PhD Candidate at Marmara University's Department of Political Science and International Relations in Istanbul, Turkey