Cotton – Highest U.S. Commodity Imports in 11 Years Support Record Consumption – AgFax
The United States imports almost all cotton products (i.e. cotton apparel, home textiles, etc.) that American consumers purchase at retail outlets. U.S. imports of cotton products in calendar year 2021 were the highest since 2010 and are expected to further support projected record cotton consumption in marketing year 2021/22 (August-July).
The United States is the largest importer of cotton products, and the country’s demand is a major factor in the amount of cotton spun, thus a harbinger of global cotton fiber consumption.
According to data from the Office of Textile and Apparels (OTEXA) of the International Trade Administration, imports of cotton products in 2021 amounted to $49 billion, representing more than 21 billion square meter equivalents ( SMEs) and driven by strong US consumer demand for cotton and home apparel. textiles (e.g. towels, sheets, etc.). US consumers spent more discretionary income on goods compared to services in 2021 amid current COVID-19 limitations.
As a portion of consumers continued to work from home, the appetite for comfortable and soft knitwear spurred demand for cotton garments, and home purchases and improvements in the United States necessitated new home textiles. . Additionally, pent-up demand from the previous year and an increase in discretionary income also boosted imports after U.S. imports of cotton products in 2020 fell to the lowest level in nearly 20 years.
China remained the largest supplier of cotton products for the 19th consecutive year. This is despite the Section 301 tariffs implemented in 2019 as part of the U.S.-China trade dispute and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection suspension order. on all cotton products from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
This region produces more than 90% of Chinese cotton. However, imports from China have increased from a record 8.0 billion SMEs in 2010 to 5.1 billion SMEs in 2021. Other countries have made significant progress since this period – imports from India, Vietnam and Bangladesh all hit records in 2021.
Imports of cotton products into the United States and world consumption of cotton are moving closely. In the first 5 months of the 2021/22 marketing year (August-December), US imports of cotton products remained robust and December 2021 was a record high for the month. Despite growing inflation concerns for consumers, high US disposable income and recent strong imports are still expected to support record global cotton consumption in 2021/22.