The textile trade landscape has been evolving, with a notable shift towards more sustainable practices driven by environmental concerns. While cotton has historically been a dominant input, its position has been challenged by man-made fibers, particularly polyester. However, the environmental drawbacks of synthetic fibers are now under scrutiny, prompting a resurgence of interest in cotton.
Despite cotton's eco-friendly attributes, it too faces environmental challenges such as high water usage and reliance on pesticides and fertilizers. To address these concerns, the industry has adopted better cotton practices. Additionally, the focus has shifted towards recycling cotton waste to reduce the demand for virgin cotton, a movement gaining momentum globally.
Bangladesh has taken a proactive step in this direction, aiming to save millions through the recycling of domestic cotton waste. This initiative reflects a broader trend towards sustainability in textile production.
The retail price ranges for cotton vary across different countries. In Bangladesh, cotton is priced between US$ 0.9 and US$ 1.6 per kilogram, while in Vietnam, it ranges from US$ 1.4 to US$ 2.3 per kilogram. Australia commands higher prices, with cotton ranging from US$ 4.0 to US$ 8.7 per kilogram. Brazil and China offer more affordable options, with prices ranging from US$ 0.7 to US$ 0.8 per pound and US$ 0.3 to US$ 0.4 per pound, respectively.
In India, recent reports indicate a slight decline in cotton prices, with growers facing challenges in selling their harvest below the minimum support price (MSP). Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has reiterated the importance of enforcing MSP regulations to protect farmers' interests.
Meanwhile, in the United States, cotton prices have seen marginal gains despite mixed economic data. Robust export sales and shipments have contributed to the upward trend in prices, with futures settling at 86.49 cents per pound. However, uncertainties linger, particularly regarding Federal Reserve rate cuts and geopolitical tensions affecting crude oil markets.