While the IMF forecasts relatively weak economic activity for advanced economies, a more optimistic economic outlook for emerging and developing economies (5.3 percent in 2013, and 5.7 percent in 2014) is expected to augur well for world cotton end-use.
China’s 2013/14 mill use is forecast at 36.0 million bales, unchanged from the previous year, and accounting for one-third of global consumption. China’s continuing policy of cotton purchases for the national reserve has maintained a domestic cotton price above world market levels.
As a result, the profitability of domestic spinning has been severely constrained, forcing mills to rely on yarn imports from countries such as India and Pakistan and to shift fiber blends in favor of lower-priced polyester.
India’s 2013/14 cotton consumption is forecast at a record 23.5 million bales, up 3 percent from a year ago. The 2013/14 India mill use forecast represents 21 percent of world cotton consumption, up 2 percentage points from the preceding year.
Pakistan’s 2013/14 cotton mill use is forecast at 12.0 million bales, up 4 percent from the previous year and the third consecutive year that annual mill use has increased. Growing mill use in India and Pakistan reflects a stable to promising economic outlook, as well as spillover effects from China’s domestic cotton policy, which has given a competitive edge to the South Asian spinners.
Indonesia and Thailand are forecast to consume 2.45 million bales and 1.6 million bales, respectively, in 2013/14, up 4 percent and 7 percent from a year earlier. Vietnam’s 2013/14 mill use is forecast at 2.35 million bales, up 7 percent from the previous year.
Turkey is forecast to consume 6.1 million bales in 2013/14, a 2-percent (100,000 bales) increase from the preceding year, and a 6-percent share of world cotton consumption. Brazil and the United States are forecast to use 4.2 million bales and 3.5 million bales, respectively, up 4 percent and 3 percent from the preceding year.
The IMF’s April 2013 World Economic Outlook report forecasts Brazil’s economic growth at 3 percent and 4 percent in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The report also forecasts U.S. economic growth at 1.9 percent and 3.0 percent during that same period.
Global 2013/14 ending stocks are forecast at a record 92.7 million bales, up 9 percent from the previous year, as production exceeds consumption for the fourth consecutive season. The sharp increase in world stocks is the result of an assumed continuation of China’s domestic cotton price support and reserve policies.
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