Xinjiang greets bumper cotton harvest, manufacturers expecting big jump in domestic sales this year
Manufacturers expect big jump in domestic sales
Published: Sep 26, 2021 08:43 PM
Xinjiang cotton Photo: VCG

Xinjiang cotton Photo: VCG

Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the main cotton production area in China, is expected to see a good harvest this year, with local cotton producers looking at a jump in domestic sales among Chinese consumers' rising enthusiasm for Xinjiang cotton - triggered by some Western countries' relentless attacks against the region.

Major cotton farms in southern and northern Xinjiang will enter a large-scale centralized harvesting period in early October, with a better output than last year expected due to the favorable weather conditions in August, according to a recent report released by the China Cotton Association.

The association raised the estimate for yearly output in Xinjiang to 5.3279 million tons, up 1.6 percent from last year.

Most areas in northern Xinjiang have begun the cotton-picking by machines, while harvesting in southern Xinjiang has not yet officially started, with a small amount of cotton being hand-picked, Wang Wenkui, a senior industry analyst from the China Cotton Industry Alliance, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Xinjiang's cotton manufacturers anticipate good sales this year, as Chinese domestic consumers have increasingly shown support for and taken pride in using cotton produced in Xinjiang, following boycotts by several Western clothing brands earlier this year.

Huang Tingyu, vice president of Chinese textile company Grace, told the Global Times on Sunday that the market and consumers have offered consistent support to products made with Xinjiang cotton.

Zhang Biao, owner of a textile factory in Yuli county in Xinjiang, told the Global Times that sales of textile products have risen considerably this year compared with 2019 and 2020, when sales declined due to the impact of the pandemic. 

"The endorsement of Xinjiang cotton by the broad consumers makes us feel optimistic about the industry and the development strategy for our enterprises. Our orders are up 20 percent over last year," a staff member surnamed Liu from a dyed cotton plant based in Xinjiang told the Global Times.

The domestic sales jump, which has boosted Xinjiang manufacturers, comes amid an industry effort to build high-quality Xinjiang cotton into a global brand with advanced technology.

"Currently, we are exporting to Japan, South Korea and Europe. Following the Xinjiang cotton incident, we are likely to focus on Japan and South Korea in the future," Liu said.

Next, the cotton industry in Xinjiang will make more efforts to improve its quality, reduce production costs, increase efficiency, and further optimize the cotton variety structure, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xinjiang has been promoting the transformation of cotton production from the decentralized operation of small farmers to intensive and mechanized operation since 2020, and the mechanical cotton-picking rate in Xinjiang reached 75 percent in 2020, the Xinhua report said.

Zhang pointed out that the mechanical cotton-picking rate in Yuli county exceeds 95 percent, and all cotton is picked by machine except for inaccessible regions.

In 2020, Xinjiang's cotton output reached 5.16 million tons, accounting for 87.3 percent of the country's total cotton output, with a sown area of 37.53 million mu, official data from the National Bureau of Statistic showed.