India Challenging For No. 2

Despite global cotton stocks that could be the tightest of the past decade, almost no net growth is expected in world cotton production in 2007/08. India’s output is expected to increase by another 1 million bales, while the world’s no. 2 producer, the U.S., expects a 2.8 million-bale decline.

These two trends would decisively move Indiaahead of the U.S. to become the world’s second largest cotton producer. 
Pakistan and Syria are also expected to increase production by a combined total of about 1 million bales. No change is expected in output by the world’s largest cotton producer, China, but the volume of unaccounted cotton there is expected to increase by 1 million bales, increasing the availability of domestic cotton in the country.    
A report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) estimates world cotton stocks will be down 40% compared to production in 2007/08. Growth in world cotton consumption is expected to slow slightly in 2007/08. Consumption grew 5.5% in 2006-07, and annual growth averaged 5.3% between 1996 and 2006. A 4% increase is expected in 2007/08, which is largely due to increased mill use in China. An 8% increase is forecast for China, or 4 million bales. Outside of China, total consumption is forecast to grow only 1.2%.

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