China Still Dominates World Cotton Market
Cotton plantings for 2014/15 will start in a few months in the northern hemisphere, which accounts for about 90% of world production. World area is expected to decline due mostly to the expected decline in China. In 2013/14, the Secretariat estimates that China’s cotton area is 4.6 million hectares, a decrease of 8% from 2012/13 and a further decline to 3.9 million hectares is expected for 2014/15. However, this may change as planting does not start until March, and on December 26, Xinhua News reporting on a rural work conference indicated that trial subsidies for cotton and soybeans may be part of China’s reforms for agriculture to be implemented next year.
Global cotton mill use is expected to continue growing in 2014/15, on the basis of continued recovery in global economic growth. However, a small gain in cotton prices could constrain the increase in demand for cotton, particularly if the price of polyester remains low.
While the divergence between cotton production and consumption is expected to narrow in 2014/15, there is still a significant global supply of cotton and stocks are growing. World stocks at the end of the current season are forecast to be 20 million tons, 56% of which will be in China. As of December 27, China’s reserve holds 11.8 million tons of cotton.
World trade is expected to decline in 2014/15 by 9% to 7.7 million tons, due in large part to the continuing decline of China’s imports. Although China’s production is expected to be lower in 2014/15, its consumption is also declining and its government currently holds enough stock for one-and-a-half years without any further imports or production.
The ICAC Secretariat sends their best wishes to all in the cotton and other natural fiber industries for the New Year.
* The price projection for 2013-14 is based on the ratio of ending stocks to mill use in the world-less-China in 2011-12 (estimate), 2013-13 (estimate), 2013-14 (projection), and on the ratio of Chinese net imports to world imports in 2012-13 (estimate) and 2013-14 (projection). The price projection is the mid-point of the 95% confidence interval: 81 cts/lb to 103 cts/lb.
Posted January 7, 2014