Although most major producing countries are expected to increase cotton area, the global yield is projected to decrease slightly from 2016-17’s 3-year high to 776 kilograms per hectare (692 pounds per harvested acre).
India is forecast to remain the leading cotton producer in 2017-18, accounting for 28 million bales of production, or 25 per cent of the world total. India’s output is projected nearly 6 per cent above the 2016-17 crop, as cotton area is expected to increase nearly 10 per cent due to higher cotton prices relative to competing crop prices. Limiting the production increase is a projected yield that is below 2016-17 but still near the 5-year average.
China is forecast to produce 23.5 million bales of cotton in 2017-18, three per cent above the previous season and the largest crop in three years. Area is expected to rise from 2016-17 to 3 million hectares, but will remain relatively low because Government policies have reduced support for cotton farmers while production costs remain high. With area concentrated in the high-yielding Xinjiang region, the 2017-18 national yield is forecast near 2016-17’s record yield of 1,708 kilograms per hectare.
Cotton production in Pakistan, Brazil, and Australia is also forecast to increase in 2017-18. In Pakistan, higher area and an above-average yield are expected to push the crop 10 per cent higher to 8.5 million bales, the largest in three years. For Brazil, increased area is nearly offset by a lower yield, resulting in a crop that is expected to expand three per cent and equal the 2014-15 production. In Australia, production is projected to increase nine per cent in 2017-18 despite a considerable anticipated area reduction; most of the area decline is expected in dryland planting. As a result, the larger share of the Australian crop under irrigation will boost the national yield forecast some 40 per cent in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, world cotton consumption is forecast to increase 2.3 per cent (nearly 2.6 million bales) above the 2016-17 estimate to nearly 115.8 million bales, as per USDA’s initial 2017-18 projection. The increase reflects anticipated growth in the world economy. Cotton mill use is led by China and India, with a combined 2017-18 consumption projected at 61.5 million bales, or 53 per cent of the global total; cotton mill use is forecast to grow slightly above one per cent in each country. The largest growth of the major cotton spinners, however, is forecast to occur in Vietnam, where 2017-18 cotton mill use is projected 11 per cent higher at 5.9 million bales. (RKS)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India
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