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Global cotton stocks to continue accumulating in 2012/13
Mar '12
International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) reported that as 2012 plantings are starting in the northern hemisphere, prices of cotton are much reduced from last year, making competing crops more attractive to farmers. World cotton area is expected to contract by 4% to 34.5 million hectares. Based on average yields, production could decline by 5% to 25.7 million tons in 2012/13.

This small reduction in output breaks the increasing trend of the last two seasons. On the other side, after two seasons of decline, global cotton mill use is projected to increase by 4% to 24.3 million tons in 2012/13, driven by improving economic growth and lower cotton prices. Of course, any setback in the global economy could affect this projection.

Production will therefore exceed consumption again in 2012/13, leading to rising stocks.

After a rebound of 40% to a record of 13 million tons in 2011/12, global cotton stocks could expand by 11% to 14.5 million tons in 2012/13. This is equivalent to 60% of global mill use, the largest stocks-to-use ratio since the late 1990s. This accumulation of cotton will weigh on international cotton prices in 2012/13.

The rebuilding of the Chinese national reserve means that by the end of 2011/12, it might hold as much as a quarter of global stocks. The Secretariat assumes that this reserve will continue growing in 2012/13, albeit at a much slower rate than in 2011/12. ICAC's 2012/13 forecasts are marked by a significant uncertainty regarding the handling of the Chinese national reserve.

The International Cotton Advisory Committee is an association of governments of cotton producing and consuming countries. The Secretariat of the Committee publishes information related to world cotton production, supply, demand and prices, and provides technical information on cotton production technology.

International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)

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