Challenges Ahead for California Pima Cotton

February 2019

Key Points

  • Pima cotton is a premium cotton used in high-end clothing and bedding which is grown primarily in California.
  • Cotton acreage suffered during recent droughts in California, and the combination of prolonged and more frequent droughts along with additional regulation on water use in the state will challenge the crop in the future.
  • Acreage under long-term water reductions or cost increases could shift to permanent crops like tree nuts and grapes which use similar amounts of water but yield higher returns.
  • Reduced Pima cotton acreage in the U.S. will result in lost market share to other long staple cotton exporters like Egypt and Peru.
  • U.S. gins and premium textile supply chains, and dairy farmers who use cotton seed in their feed, will be stressed by higher costs.

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