Turkey’s export-oriented textile and apparel industry relies heavily on cotton imports. Turkey is the world’s second largest consumer of cotton. As the industry has been booming over recent years, Turkey’s cotton demand is also soaring and is expected to reach a 19-year high in 2017.
Rising cotton demand is due to Turkey’s increasing focus on in the European market. Cotton mills in Turkey had to lower margins to keep their market share in the European market to continue operating. Meanwhile Turkish mills have also been investing in new machinery and technology to increase quality and lower costs in order to get ahead in the very competitive international textile trade.
Turkish domestic cotton production is also forecast to surge by 21 per cent year on year in 2016-17. In fact Turkey is the fifth biggest cotton yarn producer in the world, having a five per cent share in global cotton yarn production. The recovery in Turkey’s cotton production is mainly driven by higher local cotton prices and more local farmers switching from planting low return crops such as corn to cotton.
However, lack of irrigation water and high production costs such as seed, fertilizer, fuel and electricity remain as main obstacles for the industry to grow.