Despite a recent small recovery in Turkey’s cotton production, the country’s export-oriented textile and apparel industry is still heavily reliant on cotton imports. Turkey’s cotton demand is soaring, and is expected to reach a ten-year high in 2017, mainly driven by the increasing textile and apparel exports in the global market.
According to the forecast from USDA, domestic cotton demand in Turkey is expected to rise to 6.89 million bales in 2016-17, up by 115,000 bales from the previous session, marking the highest cotton demand in Turkey over the last ten years. (1 bale = 480 lb or 218 kg)
Rising cotton demand is caused by Turkey’s increased focus on competing in the European market. USDA also suggests that cotton mills in Turkey have had to lower their margins to keep their market share in the European market. Meanwhile, Turkish mills have also been investing in new machinery and technology to increase quality and lower costs in order to get ahead in the extremely competitive international textile trade.
One piece of good news for Turkey’s rising cotton demand is that Turkish domestic cotton production is also predicted to surge by 21% year on year in 2016-17, to 3.21 million bales. This is also the highest cotton production in Turkey since 2006-07. BizVibe suggests that the recovery in Turkey’s cotton production is mainly driven by higher local cotton prices and more local farmers switching from planting low return crops such as corn to cotton, although the lack of irrigation water and high production costs such as seed, fertilizer, fuel and electricity remain as the primary obstacles for industry growth.
Currently, Turkey is the world’s second largest consumer of cotton, with approximately 350,000 tons of cotton fibre consumed in Turkey every year. Turkey is also the fifth largest cotton yarn producer in the world, representing over 5% share in global cotton yarn production. Moving forward, Turkey’s cotton industry is expected to remain as a net cotton importer in the near future due to large textile industrial capacity.
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