The world-leading producer of hemp is China, which produces more than 70% of the world output. France ranks second with about a quarter of the world production. Smaller production occurs in the rest of Europe, Chile, and North Korea. Over 30 countries produce industrial hemp, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Ukraine.
Another claim is that Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America at that time, had invested heavily in DuPont's new synthetic fiber, nylon, and believed[dubious – discuss] that the replacement of the traditional resource, hemp, was integral to the new product's success. The company DuPont and many industrial historians dispute a link between nylon and hemp, nylon became immediately a scarce commodity.[clarification needed] Nylon had characteristics that could be used for toothbrushes (sold from 1938) and very thin nylon fiber could compete with silk and rayon in various textiles normally not produced from hemp fiber, such as very thin stockings for women.