U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that global cotton trade in 2012/13 is projected at 37.2 million bales, down 16 percent from last season’s second highest on record—44.3 million bales.
The decline is attributable to the projected reduction of nearly 50 percent in China’s import demand from the estimated record of 24.3 million bales in 2011/12 to 13 million bales in 2012/13. China’s imports are anticipated to decline due to a combination of larger supplies, lower consumption, and Government policies directed at supporting domestic prices. However, it is likely that the decline in China’s imports will be partially offset by increases for several other countries where consumption is recovering.
In addition to higher exports for the United States in 2012/13, gains are also seen in Uzbekistan and the African Franc Zone, with exports forecast at 2.7 and 2.9 million bales, respectively. In contrast, a dramatic export reduction is projected for India as relatively tight stocks are expected to limit exports from last season’s record of 10 million bales. In 2012/13, Indian exports are forecast at only 3.7 million bales, the lowest in four years. Smaller declines are expected for Australia and Brazil as they produce smaller crops in 2012/13.
Global cotton stocks in 2012/13 are projected at a record 74.7 million bales, 6.9 million higher than last season. However, most of the stock increase is attributable to China where stocks are forecast to increase 4.9 million bales to 34.2 million by season’s end. Growth in U.S. stocks is also contributing to the global rise. In contrast, foreign stocks outside of China are expected to remain relatively stable since 2010/11 at 35 million bales. See figure 1 for changes in the historical ending stock shares for China, the United States, and the rest of the world.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)