Stable Global Stocks in 2017/18

Date Posted: 01 Sep, 2017
In 2017/18, world cotton production and mill use are estimated at 25.1 million tons, which would result in a 9% increase in output and 2% rise in consumption. World cotton stocks are projected to remain stable at 18.5 million tons at the end of 2017/18, and, the world stock-to-use ratio is expected to be essentially unchanged at about 75%, or nine months of mill use.
The Chinese government sold over two million tons from its national cotton reserve from May to August 2017, lowering the reserve to around 6.3 million tons at the end of August 2017. China’s cotton stocks are forecast to decrease another 16% to 8.9 million tons, which would account for 48% of world stocks in 2017/18. Ending stocks held outside of China in 2017/18 are expected to increase by 22% to 9.6 million tons in 2017/18.
In 2017/18, world cotton area is projected to expand by 9% to 31.9 million hectares, and the world average yield is projected to remain unchanged at 789 kg/ha. With output projected to increase by 4% to 6 million tons, India will remain the world’s largest cotton producer in 2017/18. After four seasons of decline, China’s cotton production is expected to rise by 7% to 5.2 million tons. Cotton production in the United States is forecast to increase by 20% to 4.5 million tons. However, the full impact of the recent hurricane in Texas, where around 45% of U.S. production occurs, is still under assessment. Pakistan’s cotton production is projected to increase by 17% to 2 million tons.
After falling by 2% in 2015/16, global cotton consumption rose by 1% to 24.5 million tons in 2016/17, as world economic growth strengthened. In 2017/18, world cotton mill use is projected to increase by 2% to 25.1 million tons. Mill use in China is expected to grow by 1% to 8.1 million tons while India’s cotton consumption is projected to recover by 3% to 5.3 million tons in 2017/18. Mill use in Bangladesh is projected to remain stable at 1.4 million tons in 2017/18 tons as widespread flooding in August 2017 has damaged infrastructure and made it difficult to transport goods throughout the country and to run businesses.

  2015/16 2016/17 2017/18   2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
          Changes from previous month
  Million Tons   Million Tons
Production 21.48 23.07 25.14   0.00 0.03 0.24
Consumption 24.19 24.55 25.12   0.01 0.08 0.13
Imports 7.57 7.90 7.88   0.00 0.29 0.08
Exports 7.55 8.17 7.88   0.00 0.29 0.08
Ending Stocks 20.25 18.54 18.56   -0.09 -0.36 -0.24
Cotlook A Index* 70 83 69        

*The price projection for 2017/18 is based on the ending stocks to mill use ratio in the world-less-China in 2015/16 (estimate), 2016/17 (projection) and 2017/18 (projection); on the ratio of Chinese net imports to world imports in 2016/17 (projection) and 2017/18 (projection); and on the price projection of 2016/17. The price projection is the mid-point of the 95% confidence interval: 54 cts/lb to 87 cts/lb.

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