TASHKENT (TCA) — This year Uzbekistan plans to produce 800 thousand tons of cotton fiber and send 550 thousand tons for export, Novosti Uzbekistana news agency reported citing official sources.
According to the Uzbek Economy Ministry, as a result of optimization of the farmland structure, in 2016 Uzbekistan has reduced the area under cotton by 30.5 thousand hectares, mainly low-productive soils, in favor of vegetables and fruits.
By 2020, the government plans to cut the area under cotton by another 170.5 thousand hectares, which are mainly saline land and foothills that are not good for cotton cultivation.
The growing production of cheap Indian and African cotton, which is the most competitive now, would make other cotton producers decrease production.
Novosti Uzbekistana cited the Cotton Outlook as saying that cotton fiber production in the world in 2015-2016 may decrease by 12 percent, down to 22.3 million tons.
China, the main player in the international cotton fiber market, may reduce its cotton fiber production by 20 percent, down to five million tons.
The expected decrease of cotton fiber production by India is insignificant, as a result of which India may become its largest producer in the world, with 6.2 million tons.
The United States, the world’s third-largest cotton fiber producer, may reduce production by 18 percent (down to 2.9 million tons), Pakistan by 20 percent (down to 1.8 million tons), and Brazil by 6.5 percent (down to 1.4 million tons).