Egyptian Cotton Is Officially Making a Comeback
Egyptian cotton has, for several years now, been one of the country’s main sources of income, and a primary export. It is no surprise, therefore, that Egyptians refer to their cotton as “white gold”, and/or “the fourth pyramid.” Egyptian cotton is internationally known and acknowledged for its high caliber and quality, and it has historically been recognized as a key product within the international market.
Several interrelated factors, however, have contributed to a huge decline in the Egyptian cotton production industry, over the past few years. The production of Egyptian long-staple cotton -famously used for creating luxury linen items- has fallen sharply, since the political upheaval that occurred in Egypt six years ago. This is because the upheaval has led to decreased enforcement of regulations on cotton production.
Fortunately, different sources have been providing evidence that the Egyptian cotton industry is making a huge comeback: a comeback that will surely positively impact Egypt’s economy. It is speculated that exports of Egyptian cotton will have reached 38,000 tonnes, by the end of the 2016-17 season (i.e. this month).
The head of Egypt’s Cotton Exporting Council told Reuters, that this year’s numbers reflect a 19% increase in cotton production, when compared to last year’s numbers. He further added that Egypt is looking to win back the international market share it has been losing, since 2011.
This past November (2017) marked the decision to float the Egyptian pound. This devaluation of currency has meant that exports coming from Egypt have a relatively cheap value, within international markets. This essentially means that exports coming from Egypt possesses the advantage of being relatively cheap, within other countries’ local markets.
This comparative advantage has meant that export led economic industrialization and development, are a worthwhile endeavor for Egypt. Add to that the new regulations placed on cotton production, and you have a full and successful recipe for a genuine boom in the Egyptian cotton industry.