India’s 2012/13 mill use estimate was reduced by 250,000 bales from the previous month’s estimate, while Pakistan’s 2012/13 and 2013/14 mill use estimates were reduced 500,000 bales and 300,000 bales, respectively, from the previous month. India and Pakistan account for 60 percent of the expected increase in world 2013/14 cotton mill use.
China—the world’s top cotton consumer—is forecast to use 36.0 million bales in 2013/14, unchanged from the previous year. China’s national reserve procurement policy has raised prices to domestic mills, reducing spinners’ profit margins and forcing the industry to source more cotton yarn from other Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Vietnam.
In addition, the IMF’s July 2013 World Economic Outlook has revised China’s 2013 and 2014 economic growth downward to 7.8 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, from the April 2013 forecast, a development that does not augur well for domestic demand for cotton in China. Figure 4 shows the recent consumption shares for the leading cotton-consuming countries.
World 2013/14 ending stocks are forecast at a record 94.3 million bales, up 10 percent from a year ago, as world cotton production outpaces consumption for the fourth consecutive year. China’s 2013/14 ending stocks are forecast at nearly 60.0 million bales, up 18 percent from a year ago and accounting for 63 percent of global ending stocks.
Australia and Brazil’s 2013/14 ending stocks are forecast at 2.7 million bales and 6.0 million bales, up 19 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from the previous year. Ending stocks in India and Pakistan are forecast at 8.4 million bales and 3.0 million bales in 2013/14, an increase of 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from the preceding year.
In the July WASDE, India’s 2013/14 ending stocks were increased by nearly 1.2 million bales from the previous month’s estimate. Ending stocks in the United States are forecast at 2.9 million bales in 2013/14, down 26 percent from the previous year. Despite the larger stocks overall, world stocks relative to consumption outside of the China reserve will continue to be tight, supporting market prices. USDA’s July projections assume continuation of the currently-announced China policies regulating the acquisition and release of cotton from the national reserve.
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