Production of raw cotton in Iran during the ongoing year is expected to touch 1,60,000 tons. This would yield between 45,000 and 50,000 tons of ginned cotton. In the current Iranian year beginning March 21, 2017, around 1,24,550 tons of raw cotton had already arrived in the market and bought by ginning factories.
Last year, Iran’s ginned cotton production was around 40,000 tons. Iran’s domestic textile industry needs around 90,000 to 1,00,000 tons of cotton annually, and more than half of this demand is met through imports. In the first 10 months to January 20, 2018, Iran imported nearly 56,000 tons of cotton. Currently, there is a 10 per cent tariff on cotton imports.
Iran turned from being a cotton exporter to an importer during 2001-16, when the area under cotton cultivation declined more than 75 per cent to 70,000 hectares from 3,00,000 hectares. The low price of cotton compared to other agricultural products is one of the reasons for the drop in cotton cultivation. However, land under cotton cultivation has grown by six per cent in the current year. Iran’s apparel exports in the last fiscal year were up 2.6 per cent in volume and 3.9 per cent in value when compared to the previous year.