World’s cotton harvested area in 2016-17 is projected at about three per cent below last season. For India-the leading cotton producer-the crop is forecast at 27 million bales in 2016-17, two per cent above 2015’s six-year low. In 2016-17, an above-average yield is expected to more than offset lower cotton area as farmers in India are reported to have planted alternative crops.
In China, production is projected at 21 million bales in 2016-17, 4.5 per cent below a year ago as area devoted to cotton declines for the fifth consecutive season. World cotton trade in 2016-17 is expected to be 2.6 per cent below last season and the lowest since 2008-09. With China’s imports projected to remain unchanged in 2016-17, reductions are seen for a number of countries, including Pakistan, Turkey, and Indonesia. Partly offsetting these decreases, however, are increased imports by Vietnam and Bangladesh.
Cotton consumption in China is forecast at 35 million bales in 2016-17, up from 34 million bales in 2015-16, as cotton product exports remain an important part of the country’s economy. India’s cotton mill use is forecast slightly lower in 2016-17 at 24 million bales as domestic supplies tighten, and yarn exports to China are expected to decrease.