World cotton production likely to decrease by 22m tonnes in 2030

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KARACHI: The world cotton production share is likely to decline from 23 million tonnes to 3.20 million tonnes due to the growth of man-made synthetic and cellulose fibres, expected reach 138 million tonnes by 2030.

On the other hand, despite all efforts, Pakistan’s lint production would be hurt by high cost of inputs, weak prices, poor weather, increased pest attacks like pink bollworm and white fly, and discouraging farmers from better crop management.

The decline in lint production has attributed a dent to annual growth of the country this fiscal year, as the growth has declined by around 0.5 percent to 5 percent.

Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association senior member Ghulam Rabbani said Pakistan’s cotton production during 2016 crop year has fallen to its lowest in 17 years, depressed by poor weather and pest outbreaks. “This will force consumers to rely on imports to meet end-demand,” he added.

It is expected that the country would face a production deficit of around 3.5 million bales, he said, adding that the imports would stand around at 2.75 million bales.

Pakistan, the world’s fourth-ranked cotton producer after China, India and the United States, is facing a drop of around 31 percent. The country’s area harvested is expected to decrease to 2.8 million hectares and yield is estimated 28 percent lower at 560 kg/hectare due to pest and disease problems and insufficient inputs.

The estimated figures are the outcome of reports, interviews and consultation with the leading cotton producers and traders, textile and fibre experts and assumptions of weather conditions besides hampering cotton production by availability of land and water, limitation in yield and an unpredictable climate.

Asia is the major cotton-producing region, wherein China and India account for 54 percent of the total world cotton production. Cotton prices in Pakistan remained in the range of Rs 6,400 per maund to Rs 6,150 per maund (fluctuating) during 2015-16 mid June. Pakistan mostly exports raw cotton to far-east countries like Bangladesh, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore and somewhat to India. It is clear that global cotton production would show either flat or stagnant results and would no longer be able to meet world’s fibre demand.

Among major factors, the demand for fibres per capita would rise from an average of 11 kilograms to around 16 kilograms around 2030. The higher demand for fibre in USA and other developed countries is said to be the fashion for carpeted homes, demand for technical textiles, use of filament consumption in many countries’ industry and for many others reasons as well.

The compound annual growth rate of man-made fibre is estimated at around 3 percent while less arable land would be available, as currently 15-20 million hectares of arable land is lost per year (around 1 percent of the total). Urbanisation is responsible for about 3.5 to 4 million lost hectare of land. The contribution of new development in BT cotton, pesticides and irrigation system have led to a constant improvement in the cotton production, but one could estimate low production in more than one cotton producing country, as soil conditions, water availability, temperature and climate could also play a significant role in this respect.

US cotton production is pegged at 14.3 million bales for 2016-17, as producers are anticipated to increase planted area by about 10 percent. US all-cotton production in 2015-16 is estimated at 12.9 million bales, 21 percent lower than last season’s crop. India’s 2015-16 crop is estimated at 27.8 million bales, down 6 percent from the preceding year on lower area. World cotton consumption is expected to decrease by 0.6 percent in 2015-16 to 109.6 million bales, despite declining global cotton prices. World’s largest spinners, Vietnam and Bangladesh, would continue to grow. World trade is expected to decline slightly to 35 million bales. Global 2015-16 cotton production is expected to fall 15 percent from the previous year to 101.4 million bales. Overall world stocks are expected to fall 5 million bales to 99 million in 2016-17, but global stocks would remain well above historical level.

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