USDA’s initial projection for the 2014/15 global cotton crop is 115.5 million bales, 1.4 percent below the latest 2013/14 estimate, as offsetting changes are expected to limit the year-to-year reduction to about 1.7 million bales. Significant production changes are expected for a number of countries in 2014/15, as several factors—including China’s cotton policies, price expectations, and weather conditions—influence global area and production. World 2014/15 cotton area is forecast nearly unchanged at 32.9 million hectares, but below the 5-year average. The global yield in 2014/15 is forecast below the last several seasons at 764 kg/hectare.
The two largest producing countries—China and India—are expected to account for a combined 50 percent of the global crop in 2014/15; in 2013/14, these countries contributed about 53 percent of world cotton production. China is forecast to produce 29.5 million bales in 2014/15, nearly 8 percent (2.5 million bales) below the previous season and the smallest crop since 2005/06.
Area is expected to decline 11 percent overall, and the concentration of cotton area in the northwest region of Xinjiang is expected to accelerate as the Government’s new income support program focuses mainly on Xinjiang cotton. The national yield is forecast at 1,477 kg/hectare, a record.
India’s 2014/15 cotton production is forecast at 28.5 million bales, a 3-percent (1-million-bale) decline from the preceding year despite slightly higher area. Last season, production benefited from above-average yields. Cotton production in India is heavily dependent on monsoon rainfall and concerns about the development of an El Niño that could limit rainfall may discourage further growth in planted area. India’s yield is projected at 526 kg/hectare, near the 3-year average.
Australia is also expected to reduce cotton production in 2014/15, as reservoir levels have decreased considerably from a year ago. Australia is projected to produce only 3.1 million bales in 2014/15, a 24-percent reduction. In contrast, Brazil’s crop is projected at 8.3 million bales, 800,000 bales above 2013/14 as increased cotton plantings are expected there.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan are forecast to produce crops similar in size to the 2013/14 season. Pakistan’s production is expected at 9.5 million bales, while Uzbekistan’s crop is forecast at 4.2 million bales. Meanwhile, the largest increase is projected for the United States in 2014/15. The initial projection includes reduced prospects due to the Southwest region’s ongoing drought. U.S. production is placed at 14.5 million bales, 1.6 million bales above 2013/14.
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