World cotton consumption in 2017-18 is projected at 120.4 million bales, as per latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures. This is 5 per cent or 5.6 million bales above 2016-17. In addition to rising cotton mill use, an expanding global economy and the slowdown in polyester production contributed to this year’s above-average growth.
Despite the highest cotton consumption in a decade, 2017-18 world production is expected to exceed consumption for the first time in 3 years, the Economic Research Service of USDA said in its ‘Cotton and Wool Outlook’ monthly report. Prior to 2015-16, global cotton production had been above consumption for five consecutive seasons.
China—the leading spinner of raw cotton—accounts for one-third of the global cotton mill use total. The countryis projected to use 40.0 million bales (up 2.5 million bales) of cotton in 2017-18. In addition, cotton yarn imports by China could include an additional 8 million bale-equivalents of raw fibre to support its growing textile and apparel industry, the report said.
Small consumption gains in 2017-18 are seen for both India and Pakistan, where mill use is projected at 24.2 million bales and 10.4 million bales, respectively. Larger increases, however, are expected in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Turkey. Cotton mill use in Bangladesh and Vietnam is projected at 7.3 million bales (+ 9 per cent) and 6.55 million bales (+ 21 per cent), respectively; investment in the fibre spinning industries of these countries has led to record use of cotton for the last several years.
Meanwhile, mill use in Turkey is forecast at 7.1 million bales, 9 per cent above 2016-17 and the highest level there in over a decade.