The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections for 2012 indicate that global cotton production is forecast at 113.8 million bales, 7 percent below the 2011 record estimate of 122.7 million bales.
Despite a 1.5-million-bale reduction from last month—due mainly to decreases in India and Pakistan—the global production forecast remains above projected consumption for 2012/13, resulting in rising world stocks for the third consecutive season.
The top five cotton-producing countries continue to account for approximately 80 percent of total world production, with 2012 projected at 78 percent.
For 2012, the projected shares for China and India account for a combined 48 percent, down from recent years. Lower cotton prices resulting from rising stocks reduced 2012 area and production prospects for many producers. Although 2012 U.S. plantings are lower, harvested area and production are expected to rise from 2011’s drought-related losses.