Egyptian cotton exports are recovering from low demand in 2020, and more commitments are being made. By mid-June, Egypt met 95 percent of their export commitments and will likely start the next season with zero carry-over stock, which is a rare occurrence.
Egypt’s exported cotton quantities between October 2020 and June 2021 reveals that India imported 66 per cent of the total exported quantities at 53,000 tonnes, followed by Pakistan which imported 17 per cent of Egyptian Cotton at 13,000 tonnes.
During 2020, the persistent downfall in cotton demand led to significant impacts in the global cotton industry. In Egypt too, the cotton situation was uncertain and volatile in terms of exports, domestic use, and even imports leading to large changes in terms of demand, supply, and prices.
In the market year (MY) 2021/22, cotton area in Egypt is set to increase by seven per cent to 70,000 hectares (ha), from 65,000 ha in MY 2020/21. However, as farmers respond to the recent rise in cotton prices, a 20 per cent additional increase in harvested area is expected in Egypt, taking the cotton acreage to 85,000 ha in MY 2021/22.
Accordingly, production is forecast to increase by more than 30 per cent to reach 280,000 bales instead of 250,000 bales (of 170 kgs each). The increased harvested area is mainly due to higher cotton demand in 2021 that led to an increase in prices which incentivized farmers to continue planting cotton through June, past the traditional planting season. However, productivity is likely to be low through this late cultivation period due to high temperatures and unfavorable weather. International cotton prices were 1.03 USD/libra and rose to 1.95 USD/libra. Similarly, Egyptian cotton prices at the beginning of the season started off at 1,900 EGP/quintar ($120) for the long staple varieties. By the end of the season, cotton reached 2,500/quintar ($160). One quintar is 50kg of lint cotton. One bale is 4.8 quintars.