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Newsline-International | April 2015

Global cotton stocks may go up 11%

At the end of 2014-15, world ending stocks of cotton are projected up 11 per cent to nearly 22 mt. After increasing substantially in each of the three previous seasons, China´s ending stocks are expected to remain stable reaching just over 12 mt in 2014-15, and would account for 56 per cent of total world stocks. Outside of China, ending stocks are forecast to increase for the second consecutive season from 7.5 mt to 9.5 mt, which is the largest volume of stocks in the last 35 years and is 60 per cent of the expected mill use in 2014-15. While the gap between production and consumption has declined since 2011-12, production is projected to exceed consumption by 2.1 mt in 2014-15 with most of the excess being held by producing countries with exportable surpluses.

Production in China is estimated down 7 per cent to 6.4 mt. While production has also fallen, the volume has been sufficient to meet 80 to 90 per cent of demand, particularly as China´s consumption has declined the last four seasons. However, much of the domestic production was absorbed by China´s national reserve, and spinners relied heavily on imports from other producing countries, allowing international cotton prices to remain elevated. In 2014-15, China ended its reserve policy and in 2015 announced that it was limiting imports to the volume required under its WTO obligations. Turkey is the world´s third largest importer, but like China, imports are expected to decrease in 2014-15. Consumption in Turkey is forecast to fall 4 per cent to 1.3 mt as mills equipped with old machinery are shut down and cotton´s market share further declines as a result of the price attractiveness of synthetic fibres.

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