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Cotton production to continue decline in 2009/10
Dec '09
Global 2009/10 cotton production is estimated at 102.7 million bales, down 4 percent from a year ago, and continuing the trend of declining production which began in 2007/08. Among factors contributing to the decline are the sluggish recovery from the global financial crisis and the world food price shock of 2008 which encouraged cotton farmers to substitute area to food grains and other competing crops.

Reduction in production is expected in some major cotton producing countries. In China, the 2009/10 production is estimated at 31.5 million bales, down 5.2 million bales (14 percent) from the previous year. The rising cost of production, unavailability of farm workers, and bumper official subsidies to grain producers induced Chinese cotton growers to cut area by 13 percent to 5.2 million hectares from the previous year. In Uzbekistan, 2009/10 production is estimated at 4.4 million bales, down 4 percent from a year ago.

Uzbek cotton area in 2009/10 is estimated to have declined 9 percent to 1.3 million hectares from a year earlier. Brazil's 2009/10 cotton production is estimated at 5.4 million bales, 2 percent below the previous year's crop, as cotton area continues to decline. Planting of the 2009/10 crop is currently ongoing in Brazil, with December and January being the peak planting months. The United States is expected to produce 12.6 million bales in 2009/10, down 2 percent from the preceding year.

Production declines in those countries are expected to be partly offset by increases in other major producing countries. India's 2009/10 production is estimated at 23.8 million bales, up 5 percent from a year ago. Production in Pakistan is estimated to increase 9 percent to 9.8 million bales, while in Australia, production is expected to rebound by 20 percent–1.8 million bales–from a year earlier. Australia's cotton is normally planted between October and November and harvested between March and April. Improvement in water availability in Australia has seen production gaining momentum after the sharp downturn in 2007/08.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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