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GLOBAL FIBER DEMAND AMBIGUITY SPARKS DUE TO COVID-19

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The rapidly spreading pandemic has inserted enormous confusion into every single link in the global supply chain. Millions of people are isolating themselves, and the cotton and textile industries are at a virtual standstill. A recent survey by the International Textile Manufacturers’ Federation (ITFM) found that, by early April, the global textile industry had undergone a 31 per cent decline in orders.

The survey also pointed out that a large number of cancelations and/or postponements of orders had been experienced by all regions around the world, especially South America and Africa, where orders declined 41 per cent and 38 per cent respectively.

The international wool industry has been negatively affected by the pandemic, leaving many wool producers with uncertainty about the options available for their clips. According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the effect of COVID-19 on the cotton industry is very uncertain.

The National Farm Online web site reported that several orders had been cancelled due to lockdowns in the US and Europe. Cotton South Africa CEO Hennie Bruwer told Farmer’s Weekly that he expected cotton consumption to be depressed worldwide due to the global economy’s slowdown, as well as the impact of COVID-19.

However, the cotton industry in South Africa was in a good position due to the quality product provided by local farmers which earned premium prices for them.