ICAC Cotton: Review of the World Situation’ addresses Gender Equity, China’s Vision, and Garment Weight

Executive Summary
Highlights from the June 2019 ‘Review’ include:

  • The need for gender-specific perspectives at the earliest stages of agricultural policy-making to empower women (especially in less-developed countries).
  • The powerful impact that the decrease in average garment weight has had on cotton demand over the last 20 years.
  • How China’s massive Belt & Road Initiative could remake the global economy and the specific changes it could bring to the international cotton and textile industries.
  • A cotton market overview that points out how trade tensions and rising global stocks are adding uncertainty to the marketplace.

The June 2019 ‘Cotton: Review of the World Situation’ contains four articles that address a wide array of topics, including:

Gender Equality: Authored by Dr. Amal Saber Owis, former Director of Egypt’s Cotton Research Institute, this article makes the case that women’s economic empowerment is a prerequisite for sustainable development and poverty alleviation, and that gender-specific perspectives must be integrated at the design stage of agricultural policy and programming.
Changes in Garment Weight: Cotton Incorporated’s Senior Economist Jon Devine presents a wealth of data showing that one of the lesser-understood shocks the cotton industry has faced in recent years is the decrease in average garment weight. It has been a challenge for consumption growth in the past, although recent market stabilisation and gentle increases in average weight may be positive signs for cotton demand in the future.

China’s Belt & Road Initiative: ICAC Director of Trade Analysis Andrei Guitchounts provides an overview of China’s 2013 economic program, the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). The ambitious plan would have a major impact on trade flows and could go a long way toward improving infrastructure and logistics in the countries where it is implemented.
Trade Tensions and Rising Stocks: The cotton market faces continued uncertainty due to the escalating US-China trade war, with prices under additional pressure due to a projected increase in global stocks. Prices have suffered from the escalating tariffs, dropping to a season-low of 76 cents per pound on May 14, 2019.