Stable World Cotton Trade expected in 2015-16
According to the latest ICAC, the International Cotton Advisory Committee information, world cotton imports are projected to remain unchanged at 7.6 million t in 2015/16. While China is likely to remain the world’s largest importer in 2015-16, its imports are forecast to fall by 12 % to 1.6 million t
This represents 30% of its peak volume of imports in 2011-12. In 2015, the Chinese government restricted imports to the minimum volume required by the World Trade Organization to encourage mills to purchase domestic cotton. In July and August 2015, it sold nearly 60000 t from its reserve, but still holds 11 million t. Given the large volume of production and reserves, imports are likely to be restricted again in 2016. Meanwhile, imports by other countries are expected to grow 4 % to 5.8 million t. Imports in Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia, the next three largest importing countries, are all projected to grow in 2015-16. Bangladesh imports are forecast to increase 1 % to 972000 t while Vietnam’s imports are forecast up 2 % to 956000 t. After decreasing in 2013-14, Indonesia’s imports recovered 13 % to 735000 t in 2014-15, and are expected to increase 6 % to 782000 t in 2015-16. The United States is forecast to lead in export volume, although its exports are projected down 9 % to 2.2 million t due to a smaller volume of production in 2015-16. After declining 48 % in 2014-15, India’s exports may recover 34 % to 1.2 million t. Exports in the next three largest exporting countries are likely to decrease due to reductions in their exportable surplus. Brazil’s exports are forecast down 10 % to 766000 t, Uzbekistan’s down 5 % to 565000 t and Australia’s down 10 % to 467000 t.
World cotton area is projected to fall 7 % to 31.1 million hectares in 2015-16 due to significantly lower cotton prices in 2014-15. As a result, world cotton production is expected to fall by 9 % to 23.8 million t. India’s cotton area is estimated down 5 % to 11.6 million hectares, and production down 2 % to 6.4 million t. China’s cotton production is set to decline by 16 % to 5.4 million t due to a 12 % reduction in area and a 5 % decrease in the average yield as a result of unfavourable weather. After a 24 % expansion in 2014-15, cotton area in the United States has receded 13 % to 3.3 million hectares with production declining 11 % to 3.2 million t. Pakistan’s production is projected down 11% to 2.1 million.
World cotton consumption could grow 2 % in 2015-16 to 25 million t with consumption growth remaining flat or slowing in many countries compared with last season. Consumption in China, the largest cotton consuming country, is expected to remain flat in 2015-16 at 7.7 million t. India’s consumption growth is expected to slow to 3 %, reaching 5.6 million t, while Pakistan’s consumption growth remains steady at 2 %, reaching 2.6 million t.