World cotton production in 2013/14 is forecast at 116.4 million bales, 1.6 million bales below last month’s projection, which is mainly the result of forecast reductions for China and the United States.
Prices favored alternative crops in most of the major-producing countries this season, reducing global area to its lowest in three seasons with a production forecast 4 percent below 2012/13. World production is expected to decrease for the second consecutive season from a record in 2011/12, and the United States is projected to account for most of this season’s decline.
In China—the largest producing country—the cotton crop is forecast at 33 million bales in 2013/14, down 6 percent (2 million bales) from last season due to lower area and unfavorable weather in parts of Xinjiang, north central China, and Hunan. Weather problems are expected to reduce the yield 2 percent from 2012/13’s record high, to 1,409 kg/hectare in 2013/14.
India and Brazil are expected to more than offset the decrease in China in 2013/14, with production rising by more than 1 million bales each from the year before on increased area. Similarly, Pakistan’s production is projected to rise 4 percent in 2013/14 to 9.7 million bales as a result of higher yields. In contrast, slight crop declines are seen for Australia and Uzbekistan in 2013/14.
Global cotton consumption in 2013/14 is forecast at 109.9 million bales, similar to last month and above the previous two seasons. World cotton consumption remains well below the 2006/07’s record usage of 124.1 million bales although it has been recovering from the impact of record-high cotton prices in 2010/11 that reduced cotton’s share of textile fiber consumption.
Consumption in China—the leading mill user of cotton—is projected unchanged from its 2012/13 level at 36 million bales, but well below the 50 million bales used in 2009/10.
China’s cotton spinners have lost market share over the last several years as a result of the Government’s established price floor that maintained domestic prices above world prices. Replacing some domestic spinning, China has imported significant amounts of cotton yarn during the past several seasons, including an estimated 8 million bale-equivalents in 2012/13, twice that of 2010/11.
Beneficiaries of China’s yarn imports include India and Pakistan, where cotton mill use has steadily risen over the past several seasons. In India, cotton consumption is forecast at a record 23.3 million bales, 750,000 bales above 2012/13. Pakistan consumption is projected at 11.7 million bales this season, a 6-percent increase and close to its record high of 12 million bales set in the mid-2000s.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
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