The U.S. cotton projections for 2018/19 include smaller production, unchanged exports and slightly higher ending stocks compared with 2017/18. Production is forecast at 19.5 million bales, based on 13.5 million planted acres as indicated in the March Prospective Plantings report. While planted area is expected higher in 2018/19, reduced precipitation to date in the Southwest suggests abandonment will likely rise from 2017/18’s below-average level. With higher abandonment and the U.S. yield falling from the previous year’s record-high, production is projected 7% lower than in 2017/18. Domestic mill use in 2018/19 is projected slightly higher at 3.4 million bales, while exports are expected to remain unchanged at 15.5 million. At 5.2 million bales, 2018/19 ending stocks are projected 500,000 bales higher than the year before, and equivalent to 28% of total use. The range for the marketing year average price received by producers is 55.0 to 75.0 cents per pound.
For 2017/18, U.S. cotton production is reduced marginally from last month. The export forecast is increased 500,000 bales to 15.5 million bales as the expected U.S. share of world trade rises, with ending stocks lowered accordingly.
The world 2018/19 cotton projections show a decline in stocks of 4.5 million bales, as consumption once again exceeds production. Global production is expected to fall marginally, as area declines 1%. Expected production in India – the world’s largest producer – is unchanged from 2017/18. Lower production in the United States, Australia and China is nearly offset by higher expected crops in Pakistan, Turkey and Brazil. Global consumption is projected to rise 3.9% to a new record high, as a growing world economy drives mill use higher around the world. Projected world trade is raised from 2017/18, as import-oriented consumers such as Vietnam and Bangladesh are accounting for a larger share of world consumption, and China’s imports rise. Ending stocks are projected down 4.5 million bales year to year, at 83.8 million bales, 67% of world consumption. An even larger decline is expected in China’s stocks, and stocks outside of China are expected to rise for the third consecutive year.
For 2017/18, both world production and consumption is increased about 300,000 bales from last month, leaving ending stocks virtually unchanged. Production is higher in Uzbekistan and Australia, and consumption is higher in Turkey and Uzbekistan. Australia’s expected exports are 300,000 bales lower, while higher exports are now expected for the United States, Chad, Benin and Uzbekistan.