Cotton Exports by Country

Cotton texture conceptual

Cotton texture conceptual

Global sales from cotton exports by country in 2017 totaled US$53.7 billion.

Overall, the value of cotton exports were down by an average -25.4% for all exporting countries since 2013 when cotton shipments were valued at $72 billion. Year over year, cotton shipments appreciated by 1.8% from 2016 to 2017.

From a continental perspective, Asian suppliers generate the highest portion of worldwide cotton exports at 63.6% of the global total. Sources in North America account for 14.7% trailed by suppliers in Europe at 11.4%. Smaller percentages come from Africa (3.5%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (3.4%) then Oceania led by Australia (3%).

The two-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for cotton is 52. This broad classification includes raw cotton, cotton yarn, thread and woven fabrics.

Top Cotton Exports by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cotton during 2017:

  1. China: US$15.1 billion (28.2% of total exported cotton)
  2. United States: $7.6 billion (14.2%)
  3. India: $4.7 billion (8.8%)
  4. Pakistan: $3.5 billion (6.5%)
  5. Vietnam: $2.6 billion (4.9%)
  6. Turkey: $1.7 billion (3.2%)
  7. Australia: $1.6 billion (3%)
  8. Hong Kong: $1.6 billion (3%)
  9. Brazil: $1.5 billion (2.8%)
  10. Italy: $1.4 billion (2.7%)
  11. Germany: $972.8 million (1.8%)
  12. Uzbekistan: $850.4 million (1.6%)
  13. Indonesia: $819 million (1.5%)
  14. Spain: $689.6 million (1.3%)
  15. South Korea: $517.4 million (1%)

By value, the listed 15 nations shipped 84.4% of all cotton exports in 2017.

Only two of the above countries grew the value of their cotton exports since 2013, namely Vietnam via a 126% gain and Brazil with its 18.3% increase.

The remaining 13 countries posted declines in their international cotton sales led by: India (down -58.3%), Hong Kong (down -53.6%), Uzbekistan (down -41.5%), Australia (down -35.1%), Pakistan (down -34.4%) and South Korea (down -34.2%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for cotton during 2017. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported cotton and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. United States: US$6.7 billion (net export surplus up 3.2% since 2013)
  2. China: $6.5 billion (up 1,952%)
  3. India: $3.7 billion (down -64.7%)
  4. Pakistan: $2.5 billion (down -41.2%)
  5. Australia: $1.5 billion (down -35.5%)
  6. Brazil: $1.3 billion (up 38.3%)
  7. Uzbekistan: $840.6 million (down -42.1%)
  8. Turkmenistan: $397.4 million (down -36.6%)
  9. Greece: $360.6 million (down -25.9%)
  10. Benin: $332.9 million (up 70.1%)
  11. Burkina Faso: $194.9 million (down -58.1%)
  12. Italy: $166.7 million (down -49.1%)
  13. Spain: $162.3 million (down -37%)
  14. Hong Kong: $104.3 million (up 187.8%)
  15. Tajikistan: $97.1 million (down -25.8%)

The United States and China have the highest surpluses in the international trade of cotton. In turn, these positive cashflows confirm America’s and China’s strong competitive advantages for this specific product category.

Opportunities

The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for cotton during 2017. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported cotton purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. Bangladesh: -US$5.3 billion (net export deficit down -11.5% since 2013)
  2. Vietnam: -$1.6 billion (down -8.4%)
  3. Indonesia: -$1.3 billion (down -24.3%)
  4. Turkey: -$1.3 billion (up 20.3%)
  5. Mexico: -$768.2 million (down -4.3%)
  6. Honduras: -$758.7 million (up 16,561%)
  7. Cambodia: -$678 million (up 311%)
  8. South Korea: -$644.2 million (down -28.9%)
  9. Sri Lanka: -$627.3 million (up 23.3%)
  10. Morocco: -$487.5 million (down -8.7%)
  11. Russia: -$459.2 million (down -8.3%)
  12. Portugal: -$458.5 million (down -8.3%)
  13. Tunisia: -$398.9 million (down -42.2%)
  14. Romania: -$344.3 million (down -28.5%)
  15. Colombia: -$342.9 million (down -15.1%)

A world leader manufacturing apparel, Bangladesh incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of cotton–a key ingredient in making a wide range of clothing and related articles. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Bangladesh’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for cotton-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful Bangladeshi demand.

Searchable List of Cotton Exporting Countries

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of any of the columns below.

RankExporter2017 Cotton Exports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$15.1 billion28.2%
2.United States$7.6 billion14.2%
3.India$4.7 billion8.8%
4.Pakistan$3.5 billion6.5%
5.Vietnam$2.6 billion4.9%
6.Turkey$1.7 billion3.2%
7.Australia$1.6 billion3%
8.Hong Kong$1.6 billion3%
9.Brazil$1.5 billion2.8%
10.Italy$1.4 billion2.7%
11.Germany$972.8 million1.8%
12.Uzbekistan$850.4 million1.6%
13.Indonesia$819 million1.5%
14.Spain$689.6 million1.3%
15.South Korea$517.4 million1%
16.Japan$485.5 million0.9%
17.Thailand$481 million0.9%
18.Egypt$471.2 million0.9%
19.Greece$453.7 million0.8%
20.Taiwan$432.8 million0.8%
21.Turkmenistan$398 million0.7%
22.Benin$358.6 million0.7%
23.Belgium$358.4 million0.7%
24.Netherlands$344.4 million0.6%
25.Austria$329.9 million0.6%
26.France$298.1 million0.6%
27.Malaysia$261.9 million0.5%
28.Mexico$247.9 million0.5%
29.Portugal$199 million0.4%
30.Burkina Faso$196.7 million0.4%
31.United Kingdom$176.9 million0.3%
32.Mali$162.7 million0.3%
33.Switzerland$159.7 million0.3%
34.Czech Republic$145.7 million0.3%
35.Côte d'Ivoire$141.3 million0.3%
36.Sudan$104.6 million0.2%
37.Tajikistan$104.6 million0.2%
38.Kazakhstan$104.5 million0.2%
39.Cameroon$90.4 million0.2%
40.Hungary$74.4 million0.1%
41.Romania$72.4 million0.1%
42.Argentina$64.5 million0.1%
43.Russia$63.4 million0.1%
44.El Salvador$63.1 million0.1%
45.Togo$61.3 million0.1%
46.Israel$58.2 million0.1%
47.Azerbaijan$55.1 million0.1%
48.Uganda$54.1 million0.1%
49.Poland$50.8 million0.1%
50.Peru$47.7 million0.1%
51.Afghanistan$46.8 million0.1%
52.South Africa$45.1 million0.1%
53.Syria$45.0 million0.1%
54.Slovenia$43.0 million0.1%
55.Guatemala$42.3 million0.1%
56.Morocco$42.2 million0.1%
57.Bahrain$41.3 million0.1%
58.Zambia$38.3 million0.1%
59.Denmark$36.7 million0.1%
60.Tanzania$35.6 million0.1%
61.Bulgaria$34.2 million0.1%
62.Singapore$33.4 million0.1%
63.Lithuania$33.1 million0.1%
64.Mauritius$32.1 million0.1%
65.Bangladesh$31.6 million0.1%
66.Colombia$30.2 million0.1%
67.Costa Rica$30 million0.1%
68.Ecuador$30 million0.1%
69.Sri Lanka$26.8 million0.05%
70.Kyrgyzstan$25.5 million0.05%
71.Belarus$25 million0.05%
72.Zimbabwe$24.4 million0.05%
73.Canada$23.8 million0.04%
74.Sweden$23.4 million0.04%
75.Tunisia$22 million0.04%
76.United Arab Emirates$20.8 million0.04%
77.Chad$20 million0.04%
78.Ethiopia$19.7 million0.04%
79.Lesotho$16 million0.03%
80.Mozambique$13.6 million0.03%
81.Saudi Arabia$13.4 million0.03%
82.Croatia$12.8 million0.02%
83.Macedonia$12.7 million0.02%
84.Honduras$10.1 million0.02%
85.Chile$9.8 million0.02%
86.Macao$8.9 million0.02%
87.Bosnia/Herzegovina$8.8 million0.02%
88.Finland$8.4 million0.02%
89.Latvia$8.3 million0.02%
90.Paraguay$8 million0.01%
91.Slovakia$7.8 million0.01%
92.South Sudan$6.6 million0.01%
93.Serbia$6.3 million0.01%
94.Venezuela$5.6 million0.01%
95.Nigeria$5.5 million0.01%
96.Ghana$5.4 million0.01%
97.Guinea$5.1 million0.01%
98.Norway$5.1 million0.01%
99.Madagascar$5 million0.01%
100.Estonia$4 million0.01%
101.Philippines$4 million0.01%
102.Panama$3.9 million0.01%
103.Malawi$3.6 million0.01%
104.Iran$3.2 million0.01%
105.Senegal$3.1 million0.01%
106.Nicaragua$3.1 million0.01%
107.Swaziland$2.8 million0.01%
108.New Zealand$2.7 million0.005%
109.Ukraine$2.6 million0.005%
110.Oman$2.2 million0.004%
111.Kenya$2 million0.004%
112.Moldova$1.8 million0.003%
113.Central African Rep$1.7 million0.003%
114.Lebanon$1.6 million0.003%
115.Iraq$1.6 million0.003%
116.US Minor Outlying Is$1.6 million0.003%
117.Cambodia$1.5 million0.003%
118.North Korea$1.4 million0.003%
119.Myanmar (Burma)$960,0000.002%
120.Eritrea$680,0000.001%
121.Albania$574,0000.001%
122.Armenia$489,0000.001%
123.Dominican Republic$447,0000.001%
124.Jordan$388,0000.001%
125.Barbados$356,0000.001%
126.Sao Tome/Principe$316,0000.001%
127.Jamaica$257,0000.0005%
128.Ireland$249,0000.0005%
129.Trinidad/Tobago$237,0000.0004%
130.Bolivia$213,0000.0004%
131.Cyprus$211,0000.0004%
132.Dominica$210,0000.0004%
133.Tokelau$210,0000.0004%
134.Belize$186,0000.0003%
135.Fiji$179,0000.0003%
136.Kuwait$120,0000.0002%
137.New Caledonia$116,0000.0002%
138.Nepal$104,0000.0002%
139.Angola$89,0000.0002%
140.Gambia$83,0000.0002%
141.Palestine$81,0000.0002%
142.Malta$79,0000.0001%
143.Laos$78,0000.0001%
144.Djibouti$68,0000.0001%
145.Andorra$65,0000.0001%
146.Niger$58,0000.0001%
147.British Virgin Is$57,0000.0001%
148.Algeria$39,0000.0001%
149.Uruguay$37,0000.0001%
150.Qatar$34,0000.0001%
151.Gabon$30,0000.0001%
152.Cook Islands$24,0000.00004%
153.Bhutan$16,0000.00003%
154.Democ. Rep. Congo$11,0000.00002%
155.Haiti$11,0000.00002%
156.Luxembourg$10,0000.00002%
157.Christmas Island$9,0000.00002%
158.Turks/Caicos Is$8,0000.00001%
159.Liberia$7,0000.00001%
160.Georgia$6,0000.00001%
161.Congo$5,0000.00001%
162.Brunei Darussalam$5,0000.00001%
163.Papua New Guinea$5,0000.00001%
164.Namibia$5,0000.00001%
165.Montenegro$4,0000.00001%
166.Aruba$4,0000.00001%
167.Antigua/Barbuda$4,0000.00001%
168.Botswana$3,0000.00001%
169.Comoros$3,0000.00001%
170.Norfolk Island$3,0000.00001%
171.Guyana$2,0000.000004%
172.Iceland$2,0000.000004%
173.Bahamas$2,0000.000004%
174.French Polynesia$1,0000.000002%
175.Faroe Islands$1,0000.000002%
176.Marshall Islands$1,0000.000002%
177.Curaçao$1,0000.000002%
178.Mongolia$1,0000.000002%
179.Maldives$1,0000.000002%
180.Sierra Leone$1,0000.000002%
181.Rwanda$1,0000.000002%

See also Cotton Imports by Country, T-shirt Exports by Country, Leather Shoes Exports by Country and Top Exported Baby Clothing Sales

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 23, 2018