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Web Exclusive | September 2016

Egypt’s textile industry prefers US cotton

Textile manufacturers in Egypt prefer US cotton to local Egyptian cotton. The reason: deteriorating quality of Egyptian cotton. Extra-long staple cotton like Giza 86 and Giza 88 is being mixed with medium-staple types like Giza 90. Therefore, US exports of lint cotton to Egypt increased by 30 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. Cotton production in Egypt is made up of about 90 per cent extra-long and long-staple cotton, while 10 per cent are short and medium staple varieties.

Some manufacturers choose US Pima cotton as a better alternative to Egyptian cotton due to its higher quality. Although the prices of US Pima cotton are higher than Egyptian extra-long staple cotton, the deterioration of the Egyptian extra-long staple cotton has forced local spinners to rely on Pima cotton to produce high quality yarn.

Egypt is famous for its extra-long and long-staple cotton, which are highly praised as the longer length of cotton fiber results in finer fabric. However, the extra-long and long-staple cotton are unsuitable for many textile operations which prefer short- and medium-staple varieties.

Egyptian cotton has been in decline for some years and it has accelerated after cash subsidies were removed. Many farmers replaced cotton acreage with rice. 
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