India's area is forecast up 4% to 12.4 million hectares due to improved domestic cotton prices in 2015/16. In March, the Chinese government announced a reduced target price for Xinjiang of 18600 yuan/ton. As a result, area is likely to contract by 10% to 3.1 million hectares and production to decrease to 4.6 million tons.
Cotton area in the United States is projected to increase by 2% to 3.3 million hectares and production by 9% to 3.1 million tons. After production plummeted in 2015/16, cotton production in Pakistan is expected to jump 35% to 2.1 million tons as yields recover.
The world cotton consumption is anticipated to remain stable at 23.9 million tons. Consumption in China is projected to decrease by 5% to 6.8 million tons due to increasing wages, high domestic cotton prices, and low polyester prices. In 2016/17, Vietnam's cotton consumption is forecast to rise 16% to 1.3 million tons, making it the fifth largest consumer.
Consumption in Bangladesh could increase by 10% to 1.2 million tons. After several seasons of growth, cotton mill use in India and Pakistan contracted in 2015/16 due to weaker demand. However, India's consumption is projected to rise by 4% to 5.5 million tons and in Pakistan by 1% to 2.2 million tons.
Vietnam and Bangladesh are likely to be the two largest importers of cotton in 2016/17, with import volumes expected to rise by 25% to 1.4 million tons and by 5% to 1.1 million tons, respectively.
The growth in cotton production while cotton consumption remains stable means that the reduction in stocks in 2016/17 will likely be smaller. World ending stocks are projected to fall by 5% to 19.4 million tons. (HO)
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