THE issue of Foreign Affairs for December, 1923, contained an article by the writer on the "World's Crisis in Cotton." Since then the world's cotton supplies have passed through great changes. The apparently desperate situation described in that article was completely transformed by the unexpected recovery of the American crop through the practical disappearance of the weevil for three seasons in succession, 1924, 1925 and 1926. Many people jumped to the conclusion that this disappearance was permanent. The comparative failure of the American crop in 1927, however, due to the reappearance of the weevil, has brought us back very nearly to the position of 1923 and has revived the whole question of alternative cotton supplies from other parts of the world.

The map of the world's cotton areas printed on the opposite page is therefore of great interest. Perhaps the best commentary on it is to give an up-to-date version of the table of the world's crops which appeared in the writer's original article. In this case, however, it will be more convenient to arrange the table in geographical order. No information is yet available for 1927, except early estimates of the American and Egyptian crops. Both of these are subject to substantial revision before the close of the season, but in the meantime they show a substantial decline from the 1926 figures, which is at least partly attributable to the revised acreage resulting from the low prices of 1926.

COTTON CROPS, 1914-1927

(In thousands of bales of 500 lbs. approx.)

 

  1914 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927
AMERICA                  
U. S. A. 16,135 13,440 7,954 9,762 10,140 13,628 16,104 17,977 12,692
Mexico 112 220 169 186 168 288 198 396  
W. Indies (British) 5 4 3 4 3 3 5 5  
W. Indies (non-British) 13 13 22 17 17 18 18 20  
Brazil 406 424 483 519 544 630 596 447  
Peru 123 164 183 185 196 193 187 200  
Other S. American 14 56 62 65 144 165 227 225  
                   
AFRICA                  
Egypt 1,298 1,206 972 1,243 1,306 1,455 1,593 1,719 1,272
Sudan 8 24 19 23 38 36 97 105  
Uganda 29 65 39 70 103 157 145 104  
Kenya ...... ...... ...... 1 1 2 2 1  
Tanganyika ...... 7 7 6 10 15 17 20  
Nyasaland 6 4 4 3 6 7 4 3  
Rhodesia ...... ...... ...... 1 4 5 1    
South Africa ...... 2 2 5 7 14 16 16  
Nigeria 12 24 12 14 20 32 40 15  
Africa (non-British) 3 13 18 25 48 68 76 80  
                   
ASIA                  
Japan and Korea 68 127 128 205 197 183 190 200  
China 2,363 1,667 1,263 1,884 1,747 1,880 1,827 1,667  
East Indies, etc. 71 67 36 26 22 23 24 25  
India (mostly 400 lb. bales) 5,209 3,600 4,485 5,073 5,161 6,088 6,250 4,973  
Persia 131 73 68 75 91 93 105 100  
Russia 1,164 121 57 50 212 471 733 850  
Asia Minor 148 116 52 64 116 144 243 250  
Iraq ...... ...... ...... ...... 1 2 2 3  
Malta, Cyprus 5 2 2 1 2 3 3 3  
Australasia ...... 1 2 8 9 11 6 4  
  ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
   GRAND TOTAL 27,323 21,440 16,042 19,514 20,310 25,613 28,713 29,409  

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • JOHN A. TODD, Principal of the Liverpool School of Commerce, author of "The World's Cotton Crops."
  • More By John A. Todd