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‘Cotton: Review of the world situation’ tackles policy, tariffs, innovation and zimbabwe’s cotton sector

The March 2019 ‘Cotton: Review of the World Situation’ addresses four areas of significant interest to the global cotton community, including an analysis of the 2018 US Farm Bill on cotton support, the impact of global tariffs on cotton trade, the latest innovations in cotton and textiles, and an overview of Zimbabwe’s cotton sector.

US Farm Bill: The 2018 Farm Bill marks a significant change in cotton farm policies, from mostly insurance programs to a guaranteed and enhanced safety net and payments based on reference price, similar to the counter-cyclical payments that were in effect under the 2008 Farm Bill. This change will mean a significant increase in support to upland cotton production.

Trade tariffs: Talks between the USA and China are ongoing but there is little consensus on how things are expected to end. World cotton trade is expected to expand by 3.5% in 2018/19. China — one of the world’s top importers — is looking for new markets to source from, while the USA — the world’s largest exporter — is looking for new markets for its fibre. Major trade flows between origins and destinations might be shifting, but overall trade is expected to increase.  

Cotton and textile innovation: Many of the new developments introduced by Cotton Incorporated’s Product Development Department revolve around sustainability and performance, because those characteristics are major drivers in the textile space — and are likely to remain front and centre of decision-making for a while.

Zimbabwe’s cotton sector: Cotton is the country’s second most important agricultural export, after tobacco, and the crop supports more than 300,000 farmers — many of them in low-rainfall areas where very few other crops could grow.

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