Egyptian cotton production likely to see 35 pc drop in the next quarter

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-06-24 15:00:00 – Egypt

Egyptian cotton lauded for its soft texture and durability has been used to produce some of the world’s premium linen and clothing for over two centuries is presently facing a serious decline in its cotton production due to the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt.

This rare type of cotton is essential to everyone but its producers, the Egyptian farmers are said to be placing less emphasis on a plant that is as important to the nation as tourist trips to the pyramids. The Egyptian farmers are concentrating on growing crops such as wheat, because Egyptian cotton depends on government subsidies to be profitable.

Currently, Egypt cannot grow enough wheat to meet the rising demand for bread so depends on imports. Unfortunately, the textile industry also contributed to the Egyptian farmers’ move towards down scaling on the production of Egyptian cotton because, it accounts for less than 3% of the global market.

Since the 2011 revolution, which saw former President Hosni Mubarak toppled after three-decades in power, the government has been tight-fisted with cash subsidies as the country’s financial future currently hangs on a thin thread due to the political turmoil, which in turn has induced economic instability.

Since then, the country has accepted a helping hand in the form of $6 billion from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. According to the US Department of Agriculture, production of Egyptian cotton is expected to drop by 35 percent in the next quarter.

Not all premium cotton is from the land of the Pharaohs, but luxury manufacturers like the Albini Group in Italy (the manufacturers of fabric for designers like Hermes International, Christian Dior SE and many others) prefer Egyptian cotton.

According to Director of trade analysis at the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Washington, Andrei Guitchounts, Egyptian cotton is pivotal to the textile industry as its quality characteristics are unique. If Egypt lose this production, there is no other producer who can replicate it.

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