China’s cotton growing area, yield expected to decline in 2014


BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) — The growing area of cotton in China this year is expected to decline 8.7 percent compared with 2013, and the cotton yield is also forecast to fall, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

The cotton growing area in the Yangtze River Basin and the Yellow River Basin went down by about 12.1 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively, according to the MOA.

Hebei and Jiangsu provinces, two of the country’s major cotton regions, saw their growing areas decline 16.4 percent and 20 percent respectively, the MOA quoted local agricultural authorities as saying.

In Jiangxi Province, another important cotton growing region, some major cotton counties, such as Pengze and Duchang, have seen their cultivation areas fall by at least 10 percent, and some major cotton growers have cut their planting areas by nearly half.

The relatively low profitability of cotton and the government’s abolishment of its “temporary purchasing policy” to prop up prices are to blame for the declining cotton growing area, the MOA quoted Pan Xiufen, a senior agronomist, as saying.

Pan expected the growing area of cotton in China to continue its declining trend in the next years.

China will remain a big consumer of cotton due to its large population, growing incomes and increasing export demand, the MOA said, adding that the shrinking growing area would result in a big supply gap in the cotton market.