China’s 2012 cotton output may exceed state target -assn


Reuters – Cotton output in China, the world’s top consumer and importer of the fibre, is expected to exceed the government’s 2012 target of 6.99 million tonnes, the China Cotton Association said on Monday, which is already up nearly 6 percent from a year ago.

The higher-than-expected production, up from 6.6 million tonnes in 2011, could weigh on domestic prices and dent China’s appetite for imports should overseas prices become uncompetitive.

Although planting acreage for cotton shrank by 8.8 percent from a year ago to 7,315 mu (487.6 hectares), better soil and weather conditions and reduced crop disease are expected to boost overall production, the association said in a statement.

Cotton prices on the Dalian Commodity Exchange have fallen 9 percent so far this year to 18,865 yuan ($3,000) as demand from textile mills has withered on the back of slumping demand for exports. A further fall in prices would narrow the advantage of imports.

China’s cotton imports grew 18.6 percent in 2011 to 3.36 million tonnes, largely from India and the United States.

($1 = 6.3807 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Sabrina Mao and Fayen Wong, editing by Jane Baird)