Washington, DC (BBN)– World cotton stocks are projected to remain stable at 18.5 million tonnes at the end of 2017/18, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).

It also said the world stock-to-use ratio is expected to be essentially unchanged at about 75 per cent, or nine months of mill use.

In 2017/18, the world cotton production and mill use are estimated at 25.1 million tonnes, which would result in a 9.0 per cent increase in output and 2% rise in consumption.

The Chinese government sold over two million tons from its national cotton reserve from May to August 2017, lowering the reserve to around 6.3 million tonnes at the end of August 2017.

China’s cotton stocks are forecast to decrease another 16 per cent to 8.9 million tonnes, which would account for 48 per cent of world stocks in 2017/18.

Ending stocks held outside of China in 2017/18 are expected to increase by 22 per cent to 9.6 million tonnes in 2017/18.

In 2017/18, world cotton area is projected to expand by 9.0 per cent to 31.9 million hectares, and the world average yield is projected to remain unchanged at 789 kg/ha.

With output projected to increase by 4.0 per cent to 6.0 million tonnes, India will remain the world’s largest cotton producer in 2017/18.

After four seasons of decline, China’s cotton production is expected to rise by 7.0 per cent to 5.2 million tonnes.

Cotton production in the United States is forecast to increase by 20 per cent to 4.5 million tonnes. However, the full impact of the recent hurricane in Texas, where around 45 per cent of U.S. production occurs, is still under assessment.

Pakistan’s cotton production is projected to increase by 17 per cent to 2.0 million tonnes. After falling by 2.0 per cent in 2015/16, global cotton consumption rose by 1.0 per cent to 24.5 million tonnes in 2016/17, as world economic growth strengthened.

In 2017/18, world cotton mill use is projected to increase by 2.0 per cent to 25.1 million tonnes. Mill use in China is expected to grow by 1.0 per cent to 8.1 million tonnes while India’s cotton consumption is projected to recover by 3.0 per cent to 5.3 million tonnes in 2017/18.

Mill use in Bangladesh is projected to remain stable at 1.4 million tonnes in 2017/18 as widespread flooding in August 2017 has damaged infrastructure and made it difficult to transport goods throughout the country and to run businesses.