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Southern hemisphere cotton output may plunge 18%: ICAC
Dec '14
Besides a 12 per cent fall in acreage, cotton output is expected to plunge 18 per cent in the Southern hemisphere, which covers countries like Brazil, Australia and Southern & Eastern Africa.

According to ICAC’s latest report, cotton acreage is forecast to be down 12 per cent to 3 million hectares, the lowest level in five seasons in the Southern hemisphere, due to low world prices.

Assuming an average yield of 853 kg per hectare for the region, production is anticipated to fall 18 per cent to 2.6 million tons, which accounts for 10 per cent of expected world output in 2014/15.

Brazilian farmers are less enthusiastic to plant cotton this season as many find that even with government support, current prices do not cover productions costs and area is forecast to fall 13 per cent to 975,000 hectares.

Assuming an average yield of around 1,522 kg/ha, Brazilian cotton production is projected at 1.5 million tons.

The ongoing drought in Australia has left soil dry and reduced irrigation supplies. Cotton area is forecast to be down 28 per cent to 282,000 hectares, and output may fall 35 percent to 580,000 tons, ICAC informs.

For Southern and Eastern Africa, acreage is projected to decline 7 per cent to 1.4 million hectares.

However, unlike last season, rains have been more plentiful here and yield is likely to improve 6 percent to an average of 237 kg per hectare, resulting in output touching 329,000 tons, down 2 per cent from 2013/14.

Meanwhile, world production is projected to remain stable at 26.2 million tons despite a 3 per cent increase in area to 33.7 million hectares.

India, China, the United States and Pakistan are expected to account for 80 per cent of cotton output in the North hemisphere, which is projected to rise 2 per cent to 23 million tons with lower yields offsetting the 4 per cent gain in area.

After declining 1 per cent in 2013/14, world consumption is expected to recover by 3.8 per cent to 24.4 million tons, the ICAC states.

The top five consumers of cotton in 2014/15 are likely to be China, India, Pakistan, Turkey and Bangladesh.

Lower domestic prices and government incentives are helping the spinning industry in China to recover with consumption forecast to increase to nearly 8 million tons.

India’s consumption is projected at 5.3 million tons, which is the third consecutive season of growth, but at a slower rate than the previous two seasons as yarn demand from China is falling.

In 2013/14, insufficient electricity contributed to the 6 per cent reduction in Pakistan’s consumption, and electricity still remains a problem. Its consumption is forecast to rise 2 per cent to 2.3 million tons in 2014/15.

Consumption in Turkey is projected to be up 4 per cent to 1.5 million tons in 2014/15 while cotton use in Bangladesh may ascend 1 per cent to 954,000 tons.

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