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World cotton output forecast at 114mn bales in 2012/13
Sep '12
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) world 2012/13 cotton production is forecast to decline 8 percent from the previous year to 114.0 million bales.  Global area harvested is forecast at 33.9 million hectares, down 5 percent from a year earlier.  The expected decline is a reflection of lower crops in major producing countries, where more profitable alternatives and lower mill use demand have combined to create disincentives to cotton farmers.

Australia and Brazil, which account for most Southern Hemisphere production, are expected to produce 4.3 million bales and 6.1 million bales in 2012/13, down 18 percent and 30 percent, respectively, from the preceding year.  In Brazil, despite the added advantage of a second (safrinha) cotton crop, strong soybean prices are expected to result in lower cotton area (950,000 hectares) by 32 percent from a year ago.

China and India are forecast to produce 31.0 million bales and 24.5 million bales, a reduction of 7.5 percent and 11 percent, respectively.  China’s area harvested is forecast at 5.0 million hectares in 2012/13, a 9-percent decrease from a year earlier. 

This will be China’s lowest cotton area in a decade. India’s 2012/13 area is forecast at 11.5 million hectares, down 6 percent from the preceding crop year.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan are forecast to produce 9.7 million bales and 4.1 million bales in 2012/13, a decrease of 8.5 percent and 2 percent, respectively, from the previous year.  Pakistan’s harvested area is expected to decline 6 percent from a year ago to 3.0 million hectares.  In Uzbekistan, 2012/13 area is forecast at nearly 1.3 million hectares, down 4 percent from the preceding year. 

The United States is expected to produce 17.1 million bales in 2012/13, up 10 percent from the previous year, and the only major cotton-producing country where production is expected to rise.  U.S. harvested area is forecast at 4.2 million hectares, an 11-percent increase from the preceding year.

World Ending Stocks To Rise as Production Outpaces Consumption

World 2012/13 cotton consumption is forecast at 107.6 million bales, down 600,000 bales from the previous month, but up 3 percent from the previous year, reflecting the combination of relatively sluggish global economic conditions and a price environment more favorable for consumption than a year ago.  If realized, this will be the third consecutive year in which global mill use is less than global production.

China, which accounts for 35 percent of global consumption, is expected to consume 38.0 million bales, down 1.0 million bales from last month and 2.6 percent from the preceding year.  If realized, China’s expected mill use will be the lowest in nearly a decade. China’s price support and national reserve policies continue to erode margins for domestic cotton spinners, resulting in a loss of market share. 

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