India would become the largest producer of cotton in the world by 2022, overtaking China, according to a report released by OECD-FAO.
“China’s cotton production is expected to decline 17 percent, while production in India is projected to increase 25 percent, positioning it as the world’s largest producer,” says the report titled OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2013-2022.
The report projects cotton area in China to decline 21 percent as cotton use declines with the intensification of competition in textiles from India and other countries with lower labour costs, which would be a reversal of the last decade’s trend.
The report expects average cotton prices to remain relatively flat in real terms compared with the previous decade which included several years of record high prices since 2007.
It adds that the world indicator cotton price is expected to remain relatively stable during the next decade as the volatility surrounding the 2010 spike in cotton prices subsides. By 2022, world cotton prices are expected to be lower in nominal terms than at the start of the projection period.
During 2013-2022 period, world cotton production is expected to grow by 1.6 percent per annum, marginally more slowly than consumption at 1.7 percent per annum to reach 27.2 Mt in 2022, as the unusually high global stocks that accumulated during 2011-13 are gradually reduced, says the OECD-FAO report.
The report projects Chinese cotton production to dip by about 17 percent due to policy actions. It predicts India’s cotton production to rise by 25 percent, mainly due to increasing yields, albeit with slower yield growth than in the previous decade.
In LDC Sub-Saharan Africa, both the area under cotton and yields are expected to grow, partly due to the application of new production technology.
“Consumption of cotton in India is expected to grow far more than in any other country, and India’s textile industry will be poised to overtake that of China in the coming decade,” states the report.
The report forecasts higher cotton imports by Bangladesh, Turkey, Vietnam and Pakistan, while exports will continue to be led by the United States, with a large increase in export trade share anticipated by LDC Sub-Saharan Africa.
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