Manufacturers & Producers

10 Countries with Highest Cotton Production in the World

It would not be a completely incorrect statement to make that the textile industry all around the globe is somewhat dependent upon cotton production because cotton and polyester are the most used material types in this industry. Cotton cultivation has much deeper roots in human history. Some experts believe that cotton cultivation started somewhere around 7000 years ago in the Indus River Valley civilization. From clothing to medical supplies, cotton’s versatility keeps it in high demand. And in today’s modern era, cotton is one of the widely used materials for fabrics and in the overall textile industry. Now many countries take part in the cultivation of cotton-like China, India, the USA, Brazil, etc.

You’d be surprised to know that in most of these countries, the production amount of cotton is measured in Bales, not in metric tonnes, and in different countries, a standard bale’s weight may differ. For example in India, one cotton bale weighs around 170 kg. However, when exporting or importing cotton, most countries measure cotton in metric tonnes. In the year 2023, the current estimated cotton production worldwide is around 112.8 million bales. And today we’ll be going to take a look at the top 10 largest producers of cotton in the world that contribute a significant proportion to this insanely huge worldwide cotton production. So let’s get down to it then. Shall we?


Largest Producers Of Cotton In The World

1. China


China has the highest demand for cotton in the textile industry compared to any other nation in the entire world. The reason is pretty obvious, China is the home to the biggest population in the world, therefore the demand for cotton is considerably high. And that is why China cultivates cotton in-house to lower the dependency on other nations for it. However, still, you’d see China at the top of the list of the biggest cotton importers in the world. Talking about the in-house production of cotton in China, so it is more than 6.4 million metric tonnes in just one year. In the last five years or so, China has increased cotton production by a few percent, thus it is producing, and processing more cotton to fulfill the rising demand.

2. India


India is not very far behind China in terms of in-house cotton production. It is believed that the cotton business was first started in India, and then it spread in the neighboring nations, and thus all across the globe over thousands of years. In the global textile market, India is known for its high-quality, and exquisite cotton. It may seem like India has less land for the cultivation of cotton, but compared to China, India has more hectares for cotton production. That’s the reason India has surpassed the 6.2 million metric tonnes mark in the last five years. In 2022, India produced well over 6.16 million metric tonnes of cotton.

Also see: Top 5 Highest Cotton Producing States In India

3. The United States Of America

United States

The USA is for sure the largest economy in the world, but it still relies on other nations for cotton. However, the in-house production of cotton is quite considerable, but among the general population, the demand for cotton products is higher than in any other country. It is true that American cotton is far superior in terms of quality to other nations, and the reason behind that is pretty simple. Farmers in the USA have better tools, machinery, and overall resources to cultivate or grow cotton. Thus in the year 2022-23, the USA produced nearly 3.6 million metric tonnes of cotton.

4. BrazilBrazil

Brazil is a renowned name for the exports of many agricultural products to other nations in the world. And definitely, Brazil takes part in cultivating as well as exporting the in-house produced cotton to other countries. If you were to look at a list of “Largest Cotton Producers In The World” from the year 2016 or so, Brazil would be probably at the last rank on that list. It was just 4 or 5 years ago when Brazil really increased the production rate for cotton and brought it up to almost double what it produced years ago. And this year, the cotton production of Brazil is nearly 2.35 million metric tonnes.

5. Pakistan


Cotton production in Pakistan is a source of primary income for many small farmers. And Pakistan is the third largest cotton producer in Asia along with India and China. On the surface, it may seem that Pakistan doesn’t have enough land area to cultivate cotton which can make it the fourth largest cotton producer in the world. But you’d be surprised to know that Pakistan has around 3 million hectares of land for cotton cultivation. With that, every year Pakistan produces well over 900 thousand metric tonnes of cotton. Just in 2022, it produced well around 980 thousand metric tonnes, and in coming years, it’ll for sure surpass the 1 million metric tonnes mark.

6. Australia


Just last year, Australia has seen a huge dip in overall cotton production. But despite that, Australia is pretty consistent at producing well over 700 thousand metric tonnes of cotton every year. For example, this year, Australia has produced an astounding amount of around 749 thousand metric tonnes. Similar to the USA, Australia’s farmers also have access to the latest technology and helpful resources to bump up cotton production, which has a significant role in the overall GDP of the nation.

7. Turkey


Experts have estimated that Turkey’s cotton production can go much higher in the next year because there is now more land available for the cultivation of cotton, and more farmers have shown interest in the production of cotton for good profits. Thus it is possible that next year, Turkey surpasses Australia and even Pakistan to become the fifth-largest cotton producer in the world. However, this year, Turkey has produced around 712 thousand metric tonnes of cotton which is estimated to go as high as 950 thousand in 2023.

8. Uzbekistan


Many countries in the European Union have a higher and constantly rising demand for cotton produced in Uzbekistan. Quality-wise, Uzbekistan’s cotton definitely stands a chance against the finest quality cotton from other countries like India, the USA, etc. In terms of cotton production, Uzbekistan has come a long way because just a decade ago, the production of cotton was around 100 thousand metric tonnes. And now in the last year, it produced 652 thousand metric tonnes. The production rate is steadily being increased by the farmers of Uzbek, thus it is possible in the near future that Uzbekistan makes a jump toward higher ranks on this list.

9. Argentina


At the lower ranks of this list, the production amount of cotton decreases significantly. For example, Argentina produced around 1.5 million bales in 2022, which is around 360 thousand tonnes of cotton. And compared to the previous cotton producer on this list, it is just half of that. it is highly unlikely that Argentina would surpass any other higher-ranked nations on this list in the coming few years.

10. Benin

In terms of cotton production, a south African country, Benin is not very far behind Argentina. Compared to Argentina, cotton production has been quite steady in Benin over the years. And it surpassed the 300 thousand tonnes production mark recently. Benin produced around 316 thousand tonnes of cotton this year, most of which is sold to other nations by the farmers to earn good profits. It is pretty much possible for Benin to easily surpass Argentina in terms of in-house cotton production in just 4 or 5 years or so.

Final Thoughts

Alright, these are the top 10 largest producers of cotton in the world that contribute over 90% of the total cotton production of the world. Definitely, the production rate will rise in most of these nations in the coming years since there is a constant high demand in the textile industry for cotton.

Cotton Production FAQs

Q. What is a bale of cotton?

Ans: A bale of cotton is a standardized unit of measurement for cotton, typically weighing 480 pounds (218 kg).

Q. Where is cotton grown?

Ans: Cotton is grown in many parts of the world, including India, China, the United States, Pakistan, Brazil, and many countries in Africa. Cotton grows best in warm, humid climates with well-draining soil.

Q. What are the different types of cotton?

Ans: There are four main types of cotton: Upland, Pima, Egyptian, and Asiatic. Upland cotton is the most commonly produced type and accounts for the majority of the world’s cotton production.

Q. What are some challenges associated with cotton production?

Ans: Cotton production can be challenging due to factors such as pests and diseases, unpredictable weather patterns, and the high water requirements of the crop. Additionally, the use of pesticides and other chemicals in cotton farming can have negative environmental and health impacts.

Q. What are some common uses for cotton?

Ans: Cotton is commonly used to make clothing, bedding, towels, and other textiles. It is also used in the production of paper, medical supplies, and some food products.

Q. Is cotton a sustainable crop?

Ans: Cotton production can have negative environmental impacts, such as high water usage and pesticide use. However, there are sustainable cotton farming practices, such as organic farming and using crop rotation, that can help reduce these impacts.

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Sumit Kumar Yadav has experience analyzing business and finance of big to small companies. Loan, Insurance, Investment data analysis are his key areas.