Cotton consumption to exceed production for second consecutive year

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World cotton consumption is expected to grow modestly during the 2016-17 marketing year (August-July), reaching 110.8 million bales, reports USDA’s Economic Research Service.

That is similar to 2014-15 levels after dipping slightly in 2015-16.

Modest growth in the global economy and relatively low cotton prices are expected to support mill use in most countries. China, India, and Pakistan are expected to lead world cotton mill use and account for a combined 62 percent of the total, similar to 2015-16.

Global cotton production is forecast at 104.4 million bales in 2016-17, a modest increase following the 16-percent reduction in production in 2015-16 — the result of inclement weather and pest damage in a number of producing countries.

While cotton area is expected to decline, a rebound in yields would support the increase in production, says the ERS report.

With global cotton consumption forecast to exceed production for a second consecutive season, 2016-17 world ending stocks are projected to decline 6 percent from 2015-16, but at more than 96 million bales, ending stocks remain historically high and will continue to weigh on prices and production.

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