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Global Cotton Production and Consumption Statistics 2024

Cotton is one of the world’s most important and widely used natural fibers. Despite the rise of polyester, cotton still accounts for approximately 75% of the textile industry’s raw materials. Beyond textiles, it finds applications in medical supplies, fishing nets, and banknotes. Cotton, one of the largest crops, significantly impacts the global economy, supporting millions of livelihoods, particularly in developing countries. Its wide production and consumption underline its economic importance. A forecast by Mordor Intelligence shows that the cotton market is expected to reach USD 43.96 billion by the end of 2024. This article provides a glimpse into the global cotton production and consumption statistics for 2024.

Why is Cotton Production Important? 

The global production of cotton is connected to diverse needs and factors. Primarily, it fulfills the fundamental need for textiles, offering comfort and versatility in clothing, bedding, and everyday essentials. Economically, cotton cultivation sustains livelihoods for millions, particularly in developing nations, driving rural development and economic growth. Culturally, this crop holds symbolic importance, reflecting heritage and tradition across societies. 

Overview of Global Cotton Production

Global Cotton Production and Consumption Statistics 2024

Global cotton production is projected to maintain its critical role in the agricultural sector, with significant contributions from major producing countries. Global cotton production is estimated to reach approximately 27 million metric tons, or 113.0 million bales. This estimate is 3.3 million lower than in previous years. The primary cause of the drop is the global decrease in cotton plant productivity per area, despite the constant land use for cotton cultivation.

Global Cotton Production in 2024

Here’s a breakdown of the top cotton-producing countries and some statistical data.

Global Cotton Production and Consumption Statistics 2024

China (24%, 27.5 million bales)

China is the world’s leader in cotton production, contributing 24% of the global supply with 27.5 million bales in 2024. This success comes from its vast farmlands and advanced infrastructure. Most of China’s cotton comes from Xinjiang, a region known for high yields. China primarily cultivates upland cotton, a versatile type widely used in textiles.

India (23%, 25.5 million bales)

India is closely following China, producing 23% of the world’s cotton with 25.5 million bales in 2024. India grows both upland cotton and desi cotton, known for their shorter but stronger fibers.

Brazil (13%, 14.56 million bales)

In 2024, Brazil will lead South America in cotton production, contributing 13% of global production with 14.56 million bales. The country benefits from large farmlands and mechanized farming techniques. Brazil focuses on high-yielding upland cotton varieties.

United States (11%, 12.1 million bales)

The United States remains a major player, contributing 11% of the world’s cotton, or 12.1 million bales in 2024. The southern states are key regions with a rich history of cotton farming. The U.S. produces mainly upland cotton and also focuses on Pima cotton, valued for its long, luxurious fibers.

Pakistan (6%, 6.7 million bales)

Pakistan is playing a crucial role in the cotton industry, contributing 6% of global production with 6.7 million bales in 2024. Small farms are the backbone of the cotton industry. Pakistan grows a mix of Upland cotton and Desi cotton, prized for its high spinning quality.

Australia (3%, 4.8 million bales)

Australia, despite its dry climate, contributes 3% of the world’s cotton, with 4.8 million bales in 2024. It excels at advanced irrigation and sustainable farming practices for upland cotton. Australia’s cotton is known for its high quality.

Turkey (3%, 3.2 million bales)

Turkey, renowned for high-quality cotton, is contributing 3% of global production with 3.2 million bales in 2024. Turkey is well-known for its high-quality cotton, especially Supima cotton, which is super soft and strong.

Uzbekistan (2%, 2.9 million bales)

Uzbekistan is famous for its strong, long-staple cotton, contributing 2% to global production with 2.9 million bales in 2024. The country primarily grows extra-long staple cotton, which is highly durable.

Argentina (1%, 1.6 million bales)

Argentina contributes 1% to the global cotton market, with 1.6 million bales by 2024. The country utilizes large-scale mechanized farming to grow upland cotton. Argentina’s efficient farming techniques boost cotton yields.

Mali (1%, 1.3 million bales)

Mali is an important cotton producer in West Africa, contributing 1% to global production with 1.3 million bales in 2024. Small farms dominate Mali’s cotton industry, growing mostly short-staple cotton varieties essential for the local economy.

These countries are at the forefront of the global cotton industry due to their unique production techniques and special cotton types.

Types of Cotton and Their Use

  • Upland Cotton: Manufacturers commonly use this type of cotton to produce t-shirts, denim jeans, bed linens, and high-quality towels.
  • Pima Cotton: Known for its softness and durability, Pima cotton finds frequent use in luxury bedding, high-end shirts, fine lingerie, and premium towels. Renowned brands like BulkCotton also use Pima cotton in their luxury products.
  • Short-staple and Medium-staple Cotton: These types of cotton are frequently used in everyday clothing items such as socks, underwear, basic t-shirts, and casual shirts.
  • Extra Long Staple (ELS) Cotton: ELS cotton, known for its exceptional quality, is commonly used in luxury bedding sets, high-quality dress shirts, luxurious bathrobes, and premium upholstery fabrics.

Global Cotton Consumption Statistics by Countries

We have compiled statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Indexmundi that estimate global cotton consumption by countries.

Global Cotton Production and Consumption Statistics 2024
  1. China

China is the world’s top cotton consumer, using about 25% of the global cotton supply in 2024. Its vast textile industry produces a wide range of clothing, from everyday wear to high-end fashion, mainly using Upland and Pima cotton. China’s textile factories are crucial to meeting global clothing demands due to their large-scale production capabilities.

  1. India

India consumes approximately 17% of the world’s cotton production. With a robust textile sector, India manufactures various textiles for both domestic and international markets. Its expanding export markets contribute to the high demand for different types of cotton, driving its significant global consumption.

  1. Pakistan

Pakistan utilizes about 7.5% of the world’s cotton in its textile industry. It is used for producing high-quality fabrics and garments. Pakistan’s textile products are competitively priced and in demand globally, particularly in Europe and North America.

  1. Bangladesh

Bangladesh consumes roughly 5.4% of the world’s cotton, largely for its booming garment manufacturing sector. The country imports significant quantities of cotton, mainly short-staple and medium-staple varieties, to produce clothing for international brands.

  1. Vietnam

Vietnam’s textile and apparel industry consumes about 4.7% of the world’s supply. With increasing investments, Vietnam’s textile sector is rapidly expanding, focusing on exporting clothes to markets like the United States and Europe.

  1. Turkey

Turkey uses approximately 5.4% of the world’s cotton in its well-established textile industry. Known for producing high-quality textiles, Turkey exports its products, primarily using upland and extra-long staple (ELS) cotton.

  1. United States

The U.S. consumes around 1.5% of the world’s cotton quantity, with a significant textile industry and exports of raw cotton. Upland and Pima cotton are the main types used in various textile products, contributing to the global textile market.

  1. Brazil

For making clothes, Brazil uses approximately 2.2% of all the cotton grown worldwide. Its textile industry is growing, with more products sold in Brazil and abroad. They make most of their textiles from upland and extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, which is becoming more popular globally.

  1. Indonesia

Indonesia’s growing textile and clothing industry consumes approximately 1.5% of the world’s cotton. Focused on producing textiles for export, Indonesia primarily uses medium-staple and long-staple cotton in its manufacturing processes. 

  1. Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan consumes approximately 2.19% annually, constituting the majority of global cotton consumption. The country, renowned for its textile industry, primarily utilizes its long-staple cotton varieties. 

Rest of the World

The remaining countries distribute almost 27% of global cotton consumption among various other countries. These countries contribute to global textile production, each with unique consumption patterns and production capacities, utilizing different types of cotton based on their specific needs and industries.

Conclusion

Global cotton production and consumption highlight cotton’s importance in the global economy. The production and consumption trends in 2024 underscore the significance of cotton in the global economy. Major producing and consuming countries continue to play a vital role in the industry, ensuring the supply of this essential natural fiber to meet diverse needs worldwide. Understanding these statistics helps us comprehend the global economic and cultural significance of cotton.

Despite challenges, cotton stays strong against synthetic alternatives due to its versatility and cultural importance. Innovations in sustainable farming and growing global textile demands ensure that cotton continues to play a key role in both production and consumption worldwide.

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