The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cotton forecast for 2006/07 indicates that U.S. cotton exports will decline from last season's record shipments of 18 million bales; the current projection places exports at 14 million bales in 2006/07, similar to 2004/05.
U.S. exports as a share of total demand have risen significantly since the downward mill use trend began in 1998/99. However, the share is expected to decline slightly this season to about 74 percent, compared with 75.4 percent in 2005/06.
U.S. cotton exports are projected to decrease 4 million bales in 2006/07, despite a large gap between world consumption and production. Increased competition from other exporting countries and a foreign import demand reduced 5 million bales this season account for the decrease.
However, foreign cotton mill use in 2006/07 is forecast at a record 116.5 million bales, with China expected to use 50 million bales, or 43 percent of the total.