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US Cotton Production to Fall 18%, China 19%

The United States will likely see an 18 percent dip in cotton production for the 2015/16 season since harvest area is down 13 percent and excessive autumn rains led to lower yields.

According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), U.S. cotton production should to come in at 2.9 million tons.

September marked the start of cotton plantings for the Southern Hemisphere and they will continue through the early part of this year. Production in the Southern Hemisphere, according to ICAC, generally accounts for 8-10 percent of global production, but this year that number will be a higher 11 percent.

“Despite low international cotton prices, growers in the Southern Hemisphere may increase planted area by 1 percent to 2.9 million hectares,” ICAC said in a statement. Production for the region, however, will still be down 2 percent over last year to 2.5 million tons.

Australia’s cotton area is projected to more than double to 300,000 hectares and production there will jump 11 percent to 560,000 tons in the season.

Brazil won’t fare quite as well, with its cotton area projected down 4 percent to 952,000 hectares and its production just under 1.5 million tons.

In the Northern Hemisphere, production forecasts are for 20.6 million tons this season, with India’s 6.2 million tons accounting for roughly 30 percent of the hemisphere’s production.

China’s cotton production will also be down quite a bit this year. According to ICAC, the Asian nation that has driven so much of the cotton market’s conditions will see production down 19 percent from 2014/15 to 5.3 million tons and 35 percent lower than the 2007/08 season’s record 8.1 million tons.

It won’t be Pakistan’s best cotton year either.

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“After achieving a record of 812 kilograms/hectare last year, the average yield in Pakistan may decrease by 22 percent to 637 kg/ha due to adverse weather, increased pest pressure from whitefly and pink bollworm, and the high cost of inputs discouraging farmers from better crop management,” ICAC explained. Production in the country is projected at 1.7 million tons.

Mill use will be fairly flat to last season. China’s mill use has dipped steadily since 2010/11, and though it stabilized last season, ICAC a 3 percent decline to 7.3 million tons in 2015/16.

India’s mill use will likely increase by 3 percent to 5.5 million tons, while Pakistan’s could decrease 12 percent to 2.2 million tons.

“While cotton consumption is expected to overtake production in 2015/16, the global supply of cotton is still abundant,” according to ICAC.

World stocks should come in close to 20.6 million tons at the end of this season, 58 percent of which will be in China.

“While imports outside of China are forecast to increase by 6 percent to 6.1 million tons, this rise will not offset the decline in China’s imports, which are expected to decrease by 34 percent to 1.2 million tons,” ICAC said.