Washington, DC (BBN)– World cotton output will increase by 2.0 per cent to 23.4 million tonnes in 2017/18, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)’s latest estimation.
“The expansion is the result of an increase in planted area, which is expected to grow by 5.0 per cent to 30.6 million hectares after two seasons of contraction,” the ICAC said in its first estimation of 2017/18.
After improving by 13 per cent to 781 kg/ha in 2016/17, the world average yield is projected to decline by 2.0 per cent to 764 kg/ha.
In 2016/17, the cotton area in India, the largest cotton-producing country, fell by 12 per cent to 10.5 million hectares due to competition from food crops.
However, the average yield recovered by 16 per cent to 560 kg/ha, and production in 2016/17 is estimated to rise by 2.0 per cent to 5.9 million tones.
In 2017/18, India’s area is forecast to recover by 7.0 per cent 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 1.0 per cent to 6.0 million tones.
Cotton area in China declined for five consecutive seasons, reaching 2.8 million hectares in 2016/17.
However, output has not fallen as quickly due to the fact that the share of cotton grown in Xinjiang, which has higher yields than other producing regions in China, has increased considerably. China’s cotton production in 2016/17 is estimated at 4.7 million tones.
In 2017/18, its cotton area may expand by 3.0 per cent to 2.9 million hectares, and cotton output in China could reach 4.8 million tonnes in 2017/18.
Following a season of higher than expected yields and firm cotton prices, cotton area in the United States is expected to expand by 10 per cent to 4.2 million hectares in 2017/18.
The average yield in the United States improved by 12 per cent to 958 kg/ha in 2016/17, and production is estimated at 3.7 million tones.
In 2017/18, production in the United States is projected to rise by 7.0 per cent to 4.0 million tonnes, assuming an average yield of 935 kg/ha.
A significant drop in yields and poor returns in 2015/16 led to a 12 per cent decrease to 2.5 million hectares in Pakistan’s cotton area in 2016/17.
The average yield recovered by 32 per cent to 699 kg/ha and output is estimated up by 17 per cent to 1.8 million tonnes.
Pakistan’s cotton area is forecast to increase by 3.0 per cent 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 tonnes in 2016/17 as high cotton prices discouraged growth in demand.
However, mill use may expand by 1.0 per cent to 24.3 million tonness 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 2.0 per cent to 1.5 million tonnes, by 5.0 per cent to 1.5 million tones, and by 7.0 per cent to 1.2 million tonnes, respectively.
Given the continued growth in mill use in countries that depend on imports, world cotton trade is projected to increase by 5.0 per cent to 8.2 million tonnes in 2017/18 from 7.8 million tonnes in 2016/17.
Bangladesh is likely to maintain its position as the world’s largest importer of cotton with its volume forecast to rise by 5.0 per cent to 1.5 million tonnes. Vietnam’s import volume is projected to grow by 8.0 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes. Given the large exportable surplus and strong demand, exports from the United States are anticipated to rise by 17 per cent to 3.2 million tonnes in 2017/18.
India’s exports are forecast to fall by 7.0 per cent to 875,000 tonnes in 2017/18.
World cotton stocks are expected to decline by 6.0 per cent at the end of 2016/17 to 18.1 million tonnes as China reduces its stocks by 17 per cent to 9.3 million tonnes.
However, stocks outside of China are projected to increase by 8.0 per cent to 8.8 million tonnes or 36 per cent of mill use in 2016/17.