According to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) October Crop Production report global 2012/13 cotton production is forecast to decline 6 percent from the previous year to 116.3 million bales as the rising prices of competing crops and the declining price of the fiber render cotton cultivation less profitable.
Although lower compared with the previous year’s crop, October production numbers represent an upward revision of the previous month’s forecast, reflecting increases in the 2012/13 forecasts for Brazil, China, India, Pakistan, and the United States.
Brazil and China are forecast to produce 6.5 million bales and 31.5 million bales in 2012/13, respectively, a decrease of 25 percent and 5 percent from a year ago. In China, official support for grains and the rising cost of cotton production are some of the factors contributing to the 2012/13 production decline.
China’s harvested area is expected to decline 9 percent from a year ago to 5.0 million hectares in 2012/13. In Brazil, relatively stronger prices for soybeans and lower foreign demand for cotton are expected to shift area from cotton production. Brazil’s 2012/13 area is forecast at 1.0 million hectares, down 29 percent from the preceding year.
India and Pakistan are expected to grow 25.5 million bales and 10.0 million bales in 2012/13, respectively, down 7 percent and 6 percent from a year earlier. Harvested area in India and Pakistan is forecast at 11.7 million hectares and 3.0 million hectares, respectively, down 4 percent and 6 percent from a year ago.
Australia and the United States are forecast to produce 4.3 million bales and 17.3 million bales, respectively, in 2012/13. The 2012/13 crop forecast represents a 23-percent decrease in Australia and an 11-percent increase in the United States—the only major producer expected to increase production from the previous year.
Global harvested cotton area is forecast at 34.1 million hectares in 2012/13, a decrease of 5 percent from the preceding year. World 2012/13 yield is forecast at 743 kilograms per hectare.
World Mill Use and Ending Stocks to Rise in 2012/13
World 2012/13 cotton consumption is forecast to increase 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 106.9 million bales. China—the world’s largest mill user—is expected to consume 36.0 million bales, a decrease of 2.0 million bales (5 percent) from the preceding year due to the Government’s ongoing high domestic support price.
China’s expected mill use decline will reduce its share of 2012/13 global cotton consumption to 34 percent, the lowest in nearly a decade. The expected mill use decline in China, however, is more than offset by consumption increases in other countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.
India and Pakistan are forecast to consume 22.0 million bales and 11.5 million bales, respectively, up 10 percent and 14 percent from a year earlier. Bangladesh and Turkey are expected to use 3.6 million bales and 6.0 million bales, respectively, in 2012/13, up 13 percent and 7 percent from the preceding year. India, Pakistan, and Turkey will account for 21 percent, 11 percent, and 6 percent of global 2012/13 cotton consumption, respectively.
Global production is expected to exceed consumption for the third consecutive year in 2012/13. The gap between world production and consumption will increase global ending stocks to 79.1 million bales, up 14 percent from the previous year. Estimated 2012/13 world ending stocks are 2.6 million bales higher in USDA’s October estimates compared with September. While China is expected to account for 46 percent of global 2012/13 ending stocks, India, Brazil, and the United States are expected to account for 11 percent, 8 percent, and 7 percent, respectively.
World 2012/13 cotton imports are forecast at 36.5 million bales, down 18 percent from a year ago largely due to an expected sharp decline in China’s 2012/13 cotton imports. China—the leading global importer of the fiber—is forecast to import 11.0 million bales in 2012/13, down 55 percent from a year ago. China’s expected cotton import decline—due to lower expected domestic mill use and Government import and reserve policies—will reduce the country’s share of 2012/13 global trade to 30 percent, compared with 55 percent in the previous year.
The forecast decline in China’s 2012/13 imports is expected to be partially offset by other major importers, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey. Bangladesh and Indonesia are forecast to import 3.6 million bales and nearly 2.3 million bales, respectively, in 2012/13, an increase of 14 percent each from the preceding year. Pakistan and Turkey are forecast to import 2.4 million bales and nearly 3.5 million bales in 2012/13, up 140 percent and 45 percent, respectively, from the previous year.
Exports for Australia and Brazil are projected to decline 5 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from a year earlier to 4.4 million bales and 4.0 million bales. India’s exports are forecast at 3.5 million bales in 2012/13, down 67 percent from the preceding year, and dropping the country’s share of world exports from 23 percent in 2011/12 to less than 10 percent in 2012/13. The United States is expected to export 11.6 million bales in 2012/13, marginally below last season.