the cotton market
France

MARKET SUMMARY

1.1 INTRODUCTION

Cotton is a vegetable fibre surrounding the seeds of cotton trees: this fibre is usually used to make a woven yarn that will then become fabric . In the world, cotton is the most important natural fibre in terms of production and cotton is the most important first textile fibre used worldwide with more than 50% of world consumption of textile fibres. The cotton industry includes all the actors involved in the harvesting and processing of this vegetable fibre . This is a market that is rather difficult to understand because it is strongly linked to the geopolitical situation of African countries (the main geographical area of cotton production).

The cotton market is highly globalized since China represents nearly 40% of world consumption. The textile industry is by far the main underlying of the sector: for example, the group C is the largest consumer of organic cotton in the world. The textile industry is also the flagship industry for distinguishing the different qualities of cottons on the world market.

Production is mainly concentrated in Africa where territories allow the exploitation of cotton within large factories. Often a national issue and the main contributor to the countries' economies, the evolution of cotton prices is a sensitive subject because it is strongly linked to geopolitical issues . These markets are quasi-state markets in African countries where most large factories are publicly owned.

Cotton is a particularly old industry in which the technological evolutions and advances are rare . In recent years, one of the challenges facing the sector has been the genetically modified cotton that Monsanto introduced to the market, but the success of this type of product has been rather mixed with ecological impacts and economic spinoffs that are difficult to assess precisely.

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Aurélien Russo

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