Cotton lint is a major fibre for textile products and other industrial and consumer products. The usage of cotton is highly dependent on consumer attitudes, fashion and taste, disposable income and the price of competing fibres. Apparel products made from cotton consistently ranks high for comfort and durability making it popular internationally.
Key facts about the global cotton market
- The US is the largest world importer of cotton products and China is the largest global exporter of cotton products.
- China and India compete for the title world’s largest producer of cotton. China is the largest mill consumer of cotton at about 30% of world mill use. India is the second largest and growing at about 20%.
- Though more environmentally damaging than cotton, polyester continues to hold the largest fibre share on the cotton spinning system primarily because of price.
- The US is the largest exporter of raw cotton at about 38% of world trade.
- World cotton production has averaged about 120 million 480-lb bales per year over the last three years. One bale makes about 215 pairs of jeans or 249 bed sheets or about 313,600 US $100 bills.