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Small increase in global cotton consumption expected in 2011/12
Sep '11
After a 4% drop in 2010/11, world cotton mill use is projected to resume slow growth in 2011/12. Cotton mill use is forecast at 24.7 million tons in 2011/12, 1.5% higher than in 2010/11.

This rise will be facilitated by increased availability of cotton, but moderated by still relatively high cotton prices and competition from chemical fibers. However, the possibility of a double-dip global economic recession could reduce these expectations. China, India and Pakistan will drive the increase in global cotton mill use in 2011/12.

Global cotton production is expected to rise by 8% to 26.9 million tons in 2011/12, the largest crop since 2004/05. The production increase will be driven primarily by China, followed by India, Pakistan, Australia and Turkey. China's production is expected to rise by 13% to 7.2 million tons, India's by 9% to 6.0 million tons, Pakistan's by 19% to 2.3 million tons, Australia's by 23% to 1.1 million tons, and Turkey's by 42% to 641,000 tons.

Imports are expected to rebound by 7% to 8.1 million tons in 2011/12, fueled by larger crops, higher consumption, and the rebuilding of the Chinese government reserve. Australia, Brazil and India will drive the rise in exports. Australia and Brazil each harvested a record crop in 2010/11 and will ship most of it in 2011/12. U.S. exports are projected down by 20% to 2.5 million tons, due to reduced exportable supplies.

As a result of the expected surplus of 2.2 million tons, global world ending stocks could rebound by 24% to 11.2 million tons in 2011/12. The projected increase in the stocks-to-use ratio outside China could translate into a significant decline in the season-average Cotlook A Index. Nevertheless, it is likely that the season-average A Index will remain above the ten-year average of 60 cents per pound.

ICAC - International Cotton Advisory Committee

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