ICAC Forecasts 2% Growth in 2017/18 World Cotton Production

In its first estimate of the 2017/18 crop, the International Cotton Advisory Committee predicts that world cotton output will rise by 2% to 23.4 million tons.

The expansion is the result of an increase in planted area, which is expected to grow by 5% to 30.6 million hectares after two seasons of contraction. After improving by 13% to 781 kg/ha in 2016/17, the world average yield is projected to decline by 2% to 764 kg/ha.

In 2017/18, India’s cotton area is forecast to recover by 7% to 11.2 million hectares as firm domestic cotton prices and less attractive prices for competing crops attract more farmers to cotton. Assuming a national average yield of 530 kg/ha, production will increase by 1% to 6 million tons.

China’s cotton area may expand by 3% to 2.9 million hectares in 2017/18, and cotton output in China could reach 4.8 million tons.

Following a season of higher than expected yields and firm cotton prices, cotton area in the U.S. is expected to expand by 10% to 4.2 million hectares in 2017/18. Production is projected to rise by 7% to 4 million tons, assuming an average yield of 935 kg/ha.

Pakistan’s cotton area is forecast to increase by 3% to 2.6 million hectares, and assuming a yield of 739 kg/ha, Pakistan’s production could reach 1.9 million tons.

World cotton mill use is expected to remain stable at 24.1 million tons in 2016/17 as high cotton prices discouraged growth in demand. However, mill use may expand by 1% to 24.3 million tons in 2017/18. Mill use in the top three consuming countries, China, India, and Pakistan, is expected to remain unchanged from 2016/17. However, mill use is forecast to grow in Turkey, Bangladesh and Vietnam by 2% to 1.5 million tons, by 5% to 1.5 million tons, and by 7% to 1.2 million tons, respectively.

World cotton stocks are expected to decline by 6% at the end of 2016/17 to 18.1 million tons, as China reduces its stocks by 17% to 9.3 million tons. However, stocks outside of China are projected to increase by 8% to 8.8 million tons or 36% of mill use in 2016/17.

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