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How to Kickstart Cotton Exports from India?


How to Kickstart Cotton Export from India?

Key Highlights:

  • India's economy plays an important role in the production and export of cotton, which employs 40–50 million people.

  • Based on cotton export data from India, India exported 4.25 million bales of cotton in 2021–2022.

  • Raw cotton exports from India are very profitable because of the enormous demand for cotton around the world and low production costs.

  • Telangana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat are among India's leading cotton-producing states.

  • India is the world's fifth-largest exporter of cotton. New markets for Indian cotton exports are in Latin American and African nations.

  • SCM Garments, Shahi Exports, and Nandan Denim are some of the top cotton exporters from India.

India, a country with a long history of textile production and a significant player in the world cotton market. Cotton production in India, a country renowned for its vibrant textiles, has a long and distinguished history. It supplies fiber, which is the main raw material required to make cotton textiles. 

About 40–50 million people work in the cotton commerce and processing sector, and with about 6 million farmers in India, the cotton industry is a significant source of revenue. India exported 4.25 million bales of cotton in total during the 2021–2022 year. 

But what exactly constitutes a profitable cotton export route out of India? In this blog, we'll talk about cotton export figures for the current year of 2024. We will also look at the updated cotton yarn HS code, cotton exporting countries, and strategies to kickstart raw cotton exports from India. 

Why are cotton exports from India profitable?

cotton is one of the most important crops grown in India and planted nationwide. India's cotton exports are estimated to be around $5 billion; over the past few years, they have gradually climbed in value.

Because of its outstanding quality, Indian cotton is highly prized and in high demand worldwide. However, compared to other significant producing countries, India's cotton production costs are quite low. Therefore, India's cotton exports are quite competitive in the world market. 

Let's discuss cotton production in India!

Cotton Production in India

Gujarat is India's top cotton-producing state. Cotton is one of the most significant cash and fibre crops in India. With 120.69 lakh hectares or almost 36% of the 333 lakh hectares, under cotton cultivation, India ranked first in the world for cotton production.

According to International Textiles Data, about 33% of cotton in India is planted on irrigated land, whereas 67% is grown on rain-fed land. In terms of productivity, India comes in at number 38 with a yield of 510 kg/ha. 

India's Production of Cotton

The following are the India's leading cotton-producing states:

  • Gujarat

  • Maharashtra

  • Telangana

  • Andhra Pradesh

  • Madhya Pradesh

  • Haryana 

  • Karnataka

  • Rajasthan

  • Punjab

  • Odisha

Table-6: Production of Cotton-Global Scenario for last 6 years

Countries 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23
World 27.00 25.98 26.26 23.99 25.18 24.51
India 6.29 5.66 6.21 5.99 5.29 5.84
China 5.89 6.04 5.80 5.91 5.73 5.98
USA 4.56 4.00 4.33 3.18 3.81 3.15
Brazil 2.00 2.78 3.00 2.36 2.55 3.02
Pakistan 1.80 1.67 1.46 0.96 1.27 0.85

Source: World: ICAC Journal

  • The four cultivated species of cotton—G. arboretum and Herbaceum (Asian cotton), G. barbadense (Egyptian cotton), and G. hirsutum (American Upland cotton)—are used to make Indian cotton.

  • All of the existing Bt cotton hybrids are derived from G. hirsutum. Most cotton produced in India is produced in ten central states that are divided into three main agro-ecological zones, as follows: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu; ii) Northern Zone: Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan; iii) Central Zone: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Opportunities for Cotton Exports from India 

India's cotton business has a long history and is still a significant global market force. Still, there's an opportunity for improvement. An overview of the promising prospects for raw cotton exports from India is provided here:

Emerging Export Markets:

  • India has been exporting more cotton to Bangladesh, China, and Vietnam over the past three months as crop prices have continued to be attractive to buyers worldwide.

  • According to cotton export data from India, 15 lakh bales (170 kg) were exported in the first five months of the 2023–24 season, similar to the 15.5 lakh bales exported for the 2022–2023 marketing season.

  • Nonetheless, in the fiscal year 2023, raw cotton exports from India are expected to be valued at around 877 billion Indian rupees. 

Leading cotton exporting countries:

S.No Cotton exporting countries

Cotton Export Data

(In 1,000 metric tons)

1 United States 2,787
2 Brazil 1,449
3 Australia 1,350
4 Greece 283
5 India 250

According to cotton export data, the top exporting nations for cotton are:

The United States exported 2.30 million metric tonnes of cotton in 2022–2023, followed by Australia with 1.55 million metric tonnes, Uzbekistan with 0.03 million metric tonnes, and India with 0.51 million metric tonnes, according to cotton export data

India's Cotton Export Destinations

  • Africa: There is a market for Indian cotton exports due to the growing textile industries in African countries like South Africa and Ethiopia. Two important selling factors may be affordable prices and an emphasis on sustainability.

  • Latin America: Brazil and Peru's cotton needs are rising. India can enter this market by providing premium, niche varietals such as Pima cotton.

Top cotton exporters in India

The following is a list of India's top cotton exporters in India:  

  • SCM Garments Private Limited, Shahi Exports Private Limited, H.D. Textiles, and Nandan Denim Limited Trident Limited are the top cotton exporters in India.

  • These are the leading Indian enterprises that export cotton. Do you wish to have access to all Indian cotton exporters? Contact for a list of Indian cotton exports and cotton export statistics broken down by nation.

Kickstart your Cotton Export business from India

The rich history of cotton in India attracts ambitious business people. Here is a road map to help you through the first steps if you're prepared to enter the world of raw cotton exports from India:

Established an export company: 

  • Registration of companies: Based on your needs, select a private limited corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. ROC, or Registrar of Companies: Obtain a firm registration.

  • Import Export Code (IEC): Obtain an IEC from the General Directorate of Foreign Trade (DGFT). This necessary code verifies that your company is an authorized exporter.

Documentation and compliance:

  • Enrollment and Sentencing: Register with organizations like the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to receive the necessary licenses and an Import Export Code (IEC).

  • Record-keeping: Make sure each export document is accurate and meets the requirements of the country of import. Examples of this include phytosanitary certifications, provenance certificates, and commercial invoicing.

Find buyers of cotton

  • Accurate Cotton export data: You may find accurate and current cotton export data from India or the list of raw cotton exports from India by visiting our data-driven dashboard, which gives you real-time access to the top cotton exporters in India

  • Visit ExportImportData.In:  To access India's Cotton Exporters Database and real-time statistics on India's cotton exports, visit the ExportImportData platform. We offer authentic and accurate lists of cotton exports from India, buyer, supplier, exporter, and cotton yarn HS codes, among other data.

Final Words!

Overall, there is a lot of  research and evaluation needed before starting an Indian cotton export company. India's abundance of natural raw materials gives it the chance to benefit from the global demand for cotton.

Also, India's cotton export sector generates foreign exchange revenues and job opportunities, making it a significant contributor to the national economy. Remember that thorough research, maintaining quality, and getting up-to-date industry insights—like cotton export data from India or cotton exporters in India—are the cornerstones of a successful export company. To expand your company in the international trade industry, contact our experts if you need any help with India Cotton Export Statistics or cotton exports from India and schedule a free live demo instantly.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Who is the largest exporter of cotton in India?

SCM Garments Private Limited, Shahi Exports Private Limited, H.D. Textiles, and Nandan Denim Limited Trident Limited are the largest  cotton exporters in India.

2) Who are the top 5 exporters of cotton?

According to cotton export data, the top 5 exporters of cotton are: the United States,  Brazil,  Australia, Greece and India.

3) Which country does India export cotton yarn to?

As per cotton export data, Africa and Latin America are the two major export destinations of Indian cotton.

4) Which country imports the most cotton from India?

China accounts for more than 80% of India's cotton imports, making it the country's second-largest cotton importer behind Bangladesh.

5) Who imports cotton?

As per cotton importers data, the Leading cotton importing countries in 2022/2023 were China, Pakistan, Turkey, and India.

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