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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Brazil to produce more cotton than US this year

Brazil is expecting a cotton crop size of 14.6 million bales in 2023-24 that will be 23.7 percent higher than the crop produced last year. This will further cement Brazil’s position as a major supplier of cotton to the global textile industry.

The expected production would set a new record for Brazil. It will also make Brazil the third-largest producer of cotton at the moment, behind China and India. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated in a mid-February report that China’s crop for 2023-2024 will be 27.5 million bales, while India’s will be 25 million.

With this record production Brazil will leap ahead of the US as a cotton producer in 2023-2024. USDA has said the domestic crop will be 12.4 million bales, depicting a fall of 13.9 percent year on year.

The executive director of Brazilian cotton growers’ association Abrapa, Márcio Portocarreiro, said the adoption of advanced technology had helped farmers improve yields. “It’s precision-farming,” Mr Portocarreiro said. “It is allowing growers to monitor and manage their crops more efficiently, making better use of resources and increasing productivity.”

The top cotton producing countries until last year included China, India and the United States respectively. Within the United States, the Southern states traditionally harvest the largest quantities of cotton. This region was formerly known as the ‘Cotton Belt’, where cotton was the predominant cash crop from the 18th to the 20th century. Due to soil depletion and social and economic changes, cotton production has declined and acres in this region are now mainly used for crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat.

The use of cotton has a long tradition in the clothing industry due to its desirable characteristics. Cloths made of this fiber are moisture-absorbent, have a good drape and are known for their long durability. Consumers continue to purchase large amounts of cotton products as they prefer cotton’s light and comfortable qualities.

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