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Global cotton crop production to decline 6% from last year
Jun '12
World 2012/13 Cotton Crop Forecast Revised Downward

Global 2012/13 production is forecast to decline 6 percent from the preceding year to 115.3 million bales.  The revised forecast reflects a 1.4-million-bale reduction from the previous month due to expectations that Australia, Argentina, and Brazil will reduce area (and thus production) in response to the continuing decline in world cotton prices. 

Australia and Brazil are forecast to produce 4.25 million bales and 7.0 million bales in 2012/13, respectively, a decline of 10 percent and 23 percent from the previous year.  Area harvested in 2012/13 is expected to decline 18 percent to 475,000 hectares in Australia, while Brazil’s area is forecast to contract 23 percent to 1.1 million hectares.  

China and India are forecast to produce 30.5 million bales and 25.0 million bales, respectively, down 9 percent and 6 percent from the previous year.  Pakistan’s 2012/13 crop is forecast to decline 6 percent from a year earlier to 10 million bales. 

The United States is the only major producer where the 2012/13 crop (17 million bales) is expected to increase (9 percent) from the preceding year, the result of last season’s devastating drought.  Global harvested area is forecast at 33.7 million hectares, down 6 percent from the previous year, while yield is forecast at 746 kg/ha, similar to 2011/12. 

World 2012/13 Mill Use To Rebound; Ending Stocks to Reach a Record

Although world 2012/13 cotton consumption is revised downward by a million bales (1 percent) from the previous month, the forecast of 109 million bales represents an increase of nearly 3 percent from a year earlier.  China is forecast to consume 40 million bales in 2012/13, down 2 percent from the previous year. 

This would be the lowest mill use in 8 years, if realized.  The forecast contraction in consumption by China is expected to be more than offset by increased mill use in India, where 2012/13 cotton consumption is forecast at 21.3 million bales, up 6 percent from the preceding year.  

In Pakistan and Turkey, 2012/13 mill use is forecast at 11.0 million bales and 5.6 million bales, respectively, up 7 percent and 6 percent from the previous year.  Brazil is forecast to consume nearly 4.3 million bales, up 6 percent from the preceding year, while in the United States 2012/13 consumption is expected to rise 3 percent to 3.5 million bales.

Thailand is expected to consume nearly 1.6 million bales in 2012/13—a 22-percent increase from the preceding year, as mills there recover from the severe flood problems experienced in 2011/12.

Global 2012/13 ending stocks are forecast at a record 74.5 million bales, an increase of 11 percent from the previous year, as expected production outpaces forecast consumption.  Not surprisingly, the resulting increase in the stocks-to-use ratio to 68 percent is expected to weaken global cotton prices.  China’s 2012/13 ending stocks are forecast at 31.3 million bales, a 15-percent increase from the preceding year, leaving the world’s top cotton consumer to account for 42 percent of global ending stocks.

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