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Cotton output to fall in current season
13
Feb '10
According to The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), world cotton production for 2009/10 is projected at 22.2 million tons, a decrease of 5% over the previous season mainly due to lower yields. As a result world cotton stocks are expected to decline by 14% to 10.5 million tons by July 2010, which would be the lowest level in 6 years.

Based on the above and the expectation that world cotton use will grow by 2.8% in 2009/10 to 23.9 million tons, the ICAC's price model is forecasting an 18% increase in the average Cotlook A index (an indicator of world cotton prices) for 2009/10. The latest A index estimate for 2009/10 of 72 US c/lb is 2 US c/lb up from last month's forecast.

The higher prices paid for cotton in 2009/10, combined with the recent decline in grain prices will however encourage farmers to increase cotton plantings in 2010/11 according to the ICAC. World cotton area for 2010/11 is expected to increase by about 5% and assuming an average yield, cotton production is forecast by the ICAC to rebound to 24.1 million tons, an increase of about 9% over 2009/10.

The ICAC also expects world cotton consumption to continue to recover, growing by 2.5% to 24.5 million tons in 2010/11. Most of the growth however will be in Asia, South America and Turkey.

Although the ICAC forecasts world cotton trade to increase only slightly in 2010/11, Chinese imports is expected to increase by about 15% to 2.1 million tons, driven by increased mill use. Exports from India are expected to remain stable in 2010/11 but USA exports are forecast to increase by 10% mainly driven by increased production.

Local outlook:
As far as the local outlook is concerned, the 1st estimate for the 2009/10 production year indicates a total crop of 41 261 lint bales, 8% down from the previous season and the smallest crop since the early sixties.

About 37,841 lint bales are estimated to be produced from RSA produced seed cotton, 10% down from the previous season. The balance of 3,420 lint bales relates to Swaziland produced cotton ginned by the Swaziland gin.

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Cotton South Africa


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