Sub-Committee on Cotton - Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cotton and its value chains : the case of the C-4 and other LDCs - Study by the Secretariat
作者:WTO Secretariat
文件編號:TN/AG/SCC/W/40, WT/CFMC/W/97

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cotton and its value chains:
the case of the C-4 and other LDCs

Study by the Secretariat[1],[2]

Acknowledgments. 4

Foreword by the Director-General. 5

Executive summary. 7

main takeways. 10

Acronyms. 11

Introduction.. 11

Methodology and limitations. 12

1  Economic, social and environmental indicators and COVID-19 impacts. 13

1.1  Economy-wide impacts in reference LDCs. 13

1.1.1  GDP per capita decreased in 2020 and growth rates were projected to slow. 13

1.1.2  Key food security indicators worsened in 2020 for some reference LDCs. 16

1.2  The cotton sector in African LDCs is negatively affected by climate change while having low environmental impacts. 18

1.3  The agriculture and cotton sectors in reference LDCs. 23

1.3.1  Value addition in agriculture is especially important 23

1.3.2  Cotton is an important engine of agricultural value addition. 27

1.3.3  Agriculture employs more than half of the labour force. 28

1.4  Cotton-specific COVID-19 impacts in reference LDCs. 29

1.4.1  Impact on cotton prices. 29

1.4.2  Costs associated with cotton production and export from LDCs have increased, and logistics have become more complex. 34

1.4.3  Cotton production, harvested area, and productivity show resilience. 35

1.4.4  Adverse impacts on cotton exports. 36

1.4.5  New trade patterns and trade linkages emerged in 2020. 48

1.4.6  The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated some trends in consumer preferences worldwide. 53

2  Recovery and Resilience – Measures adopted and way forward. 54

2.1  Cotton-specific development assistance flows decreased from 2020 to 2021. 54

2.2  Analysis of responses to the WTO-ICAC survey. 55

2.3  Measures taken by LDCs at the national level 55

2.3.1  Recommendations from LDCs' public and private stakeholders for measures in support of recovery and resilience. 57

2.3.2  Brief overview of responses from non-LDC respondents. 58

2.4  Actions undertaken by the International Community. 59

Conclusions. 65


Annex 1 - WTO-ICAC Survey. 67

Annex 2 - Share of various agricultural products including cotton in total agricultural crops harvested area. 70

Annex 3 - Excerpt from the May 2021 WTO Evolving Table. 78

References. 81


List of figures

Figure 1: GDP per capita evolution 2018-2020 in reference group of cotton-producing LDCs (left) and in the comparative group of LDCs (right) in constant 2017 international USD, PPP. 14

Figure 2: Real GDP forecasts for the C-4 and their main cotton trading partners. 15

Figure 3: GFSI scores worsened in 2020 and remained below 2017 levels
in several reference LDCs. 16

Figure 4: Undernourishment was higher in the C-4 countries, Malawi, and in Mozambique over the 3-year period 2018-2020. 17

Figure 5: 3-Year moving average of temperature and total annual rainfall in the reference group of LDCs. 19

Figure 6: Value addition in agriculture and other sectors in the reference group of LDCs (percentage of GDP) 23

Figure 7: Value of cotton exports as a percentage of agricultural value added
in reference LDCs. 26

Figure 8: Average employment in agriculture, industry and services in reference LDCs
(% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate) 27

Figure 9: "A Index" fall in March-April 2020. 29

Figure 10: Effects of COVID-19 on Major Apparel Export Markets. 29

Figure 11: Cotton price trends in 2018-2021, in nominal USD/kg (left-hand graph);
Price outlook (nominal USD/kg): Cotton 6-month moving average price level
and 12-month standard deviation. 31

Figure 12: World prices of cotton and other crops. 32

Figure 13: Cotton Production in reference LDCs (thousand tonnes of fibre) 35

Figure 14: Harvested area (thousand hectares) 35

Figure 15: Yield (Kg of lint/hectare) 35

Figure 16: Cotton export values, quantities and shares over total merchandise exports
in reference LDCs. 37

Figure 17: In the C-4, the quantity of cotton exported and the value of exports followed similar trends during the period 2016- 2020. 43

Figure 18: Monthly cotton export data show impacts of the pandemic in the C-4 countries (tonnes) 45

Figure 19: Selected LDCs' raw cotton exports by destination, in USD millions. 48

Figure 20: Other LDCs' raw cotton exports by destination, in USD millions. 49

Figure 21: overview of cotton-specific development assistance commitments, disbursements, and number of projects recorded in the Evolving Table (in USD, left axis) 54

Figure 22: Summary plot of survey results for the LDCs (survey question 2) 67

Figure 23: Summary plot of survey results for the LDCs (survey question 3) 68



List of tables

Table 1: Change between 2019 and 2020 - GDP per capita in reference group of cotton‑producing LDCs (left) and in the comparative group of LDCs (right)
in constant 2017 international USD, PPP. 15

Table 2: Estimated number of individual cotton farmers in reference LDCs. 27

Table 3: Value of cotton exports (USD millions) in reference LDCs
and percentage change from 2019-2020. 42

Table 4: National pandemic response measures as reported by LDC survey respondents. 55

Table 5: Other programmes enacted by international entities. 59


List of boxes

Box 1: Impacts on social indicators in Africa: study by the African Cotton Foundation (ACF)
and Olam International 17

Box 2 – A private sector view on prices, logistics, and global market trends
during and after 2020. 52

Box 3: Better Cotton Adapts to COVID-19 Pandemic to Support Smallholder Farmers. 62

Box 4: Enhancing safe trade in plants and plant products: the ePhyto solution. 63



[1] Study requested at the Cotton Dedicated Discussions of 28 May 2021 (as reflected in TN/AG/49 - TN/AG/SCC/17).

[2] This document has been prepared under the Secretariat's own responsibility and is without prejudice to the positions of Members or to their rights and obligations under the WTO. It has been prepared for information only and is not intended to provide any authoritative or official legal interpretation of the provisions of the WTO Agreements in general or in relation to any specific entity or measure listed in this document.