Global 2014/15 cotton mill use is forecast at 112.3 million bales, 2 percent above the previous season. Mill use in China is expected to rebound in 2014/15 to 37.0 million bales—up from an estimated 35.5 million bales this season and the highest in 3 years.
During the last several seasons, China’s relatively high domestic cotton prices encouraged yarn imports and constrained domestic mill use. However, policy adjustments reducing price support levels are expected to boost cotton mill use in 2014/15. India’s consumption is projected to rise 2 percent to about 24.3 million bales, a record, as demand for India’s textile product exports is expected to remain strong. Expansion of cotton mill use in Pakistan is also likely to continue in 2014/15, reaching 11.3 million bales or 3 percent above a year earlier. In addition to gains for the United States, cotton mill consumption is also projected to rise in Turkey and Bangladesh.
World cotton trade, on the other hand, is forecast to reach only 35.6 million bales in 2014/15—13 percent below 2013/14 and the lowest in 4 years—due mainly to China’s expected reduction in raw cotton imports. In 2014/15, China is projected to import only 8.0 million bales of cotton, 5.5 million bales less than estimated for 2013/14 and one-third the level imported just 3 years ago—a record 24.5 million bales (fig. 5). Most other importing countries are expected to have offsetting changes in 2014/15; imports are forecast to rise in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan, while declines are seen for Turkey and Vietnam.
Exports are projected to decrease in 2014/15 across major exporting countries with the exception of Brazil, which is rebounding from limited exportable supplies in 2013/14. Significant reductions are seen for India and Australia in 2014/15. For India, exports are forecast to decline 37 percent to 5.7 million bales, while shipments from Australia are projected to decrease 35 percent to 3.1 million bales.
In addition to the 8-percent reduction seen for the United States in 2014/15, exports from Uzbekistan are expected to fall 7 percent to 2.5 million bales.
Global ending stocks are forecast to reach 102.7 million bales by the end of 2014/15, more than double the 2009/10 season when stocks fell to a low of 47.1 million bales (fig. 6). In response to very tight stocks, world cotton prices jumped dramatically to average $1.65 per pound in 2010/11 and $1.00 per pound in 2011/12.
With China’s reserve policies supporting world prices beginning in 2011/12, global production has continued to outpace the demand for cotton fiber, leading to consecutive record stock levels. For 2014/15, the world cotton price is expected to decrease from this season’s 92-cent-per-pound average toaround 80 cents per pound as the Government of China reduces market support.